The team will take part in the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers starting on Wednesday…
Indian U-23 team kicked-off their practice under Head Coach Stephen Constantine at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, commonly known as Qatar Sports Club in Doha on Sunday. All the qualification matches of Group C will be held in Qatar, starting from 19th July when India takes on Syria.
Incidentally, the stadium has a strong India connection as JSW Bengaluru FC had played the AFC Cup 2016 final against Iraqi outfit, eventual champions Air Force Club at this particular stadium.
The weather in Qatar has been extremely hot throughout but that doesn’t bother Constantine much.
“I don’t think the weather will be a problem. It has been hot in India and we are physically ready for the games,” Constantine stated.
As India are pitted against heavyweights Qatar, Syria and Turkmenistan, it’ll be a ‘tough’ battle of nerves for the youngsters to get the better of their opponents.
“It’s going to be very tough for us as I said earlier”, Stephen mentioned.
Qatar, who fell short to Iraq in the third-place decider in the AFC U23 Championship 2016 will start the proceedings as the favourites but India would respect every opponent equally and get to deal with them separately.
“We will look to play our way and deal with each opponent separately,” Constantine maintained.
The young Blue Tigers head to the qualifications of the prestigious tournament after playing Singapore twice in this month, out of which the Indians won one and lost another.
India play their first match against Syria at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on July 19, 2017 (07:30 PM IST). India will later face the likes of Qatar and Turkmenistan on 21st and 23rd July respectively.
The 23-member squad stays as follows:
Goalkeepers: Vishal Kaith, Kamaljit Singh, Sukhadev Patil.
Defenders: Salam Ranjan Singh, Lalruatthara, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Davinder Singh, Nishu Kumar, Sairuathkima, Sarthak Golui, Kamalpreet Singh Grewal.
Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Nikhil Poojari, Nandha Kumar, Germanpreet Singh, Mawihmingthanga, Vinit Rai, Robinson Singh, Lallianzuala Changthe.
Forwards: Hitesh Sharma, Alen Deory, Manvir Singh, Daniel Lalhlimpuia.