The Blue Tigers head coach has announced two squads for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Indian football season is at its business end and national team head coach Igor Stimac has already begun preparing for India’s next match in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Qatar on March 26 at the Kalinga Stadium.
Stimac has called UP 23 players for the national camp on 9th March, from the Indian Super League teams who have failed to qualify for the playoffs this season.
Players who will join the camp on 9th March are as follows –
India Vs Qatar Squad 1
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Md. Rafique Ali Sardar
Defenders: Pratik Prabhakar Chowdhary, Shubham Sarangi, Subhasish Bose, Narender, Adil Khan, Sandesh Jhingan
Midfielders: Rowllin Borges, Amarjit Singh, Jeakson Singh, Nandhakumar Sekar, Lalengmawia, Vinit Rai, Raynier Fernandes, Nikhil Poojary, Mawihmingthanga, Halicharan Narzary, Sahal Abdul Samad
Forwards: Farukh Choudhary, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Liston Colaco
There are several new names in the list, as Stimac has had a close eye on the proceedings of the ISL till now. In the goalkeepers, there is a return for veteran custodian Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, who has been pretty good for NorthEast United despite their defensive woes. Adding to that, young goalkeeper Rafique Ali Sardar also gets his maiden call-up after impressing for Jamshedpur FC this season.
In defence, Pratik Chowdhary gets a call-up for his consistent performances for Mumbai City FC this season, while Shubham Sarangi has finally taken the big leap after a stellar season with Odisha FC at right-back.
Amarjit Singh Kiyam returns to the camp after injury, while the surprise name here has to be Lalengmawia, who has been impeccable in the Highlanders’ midfield and has been rewarded with his maiden national team call-up. Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Nandhakumar Sekar and Jeakson Singh have also received the call-up for their efforts this season.
Lastly, Liston Colaco remains the only surprise in attack along with long-term absentee Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Meanwhile, some players are currently with their ISL sides for the playoffs and will join the camp later on March 16, after fulfilling their commitments with the clubs.
The 20 players called up from the qualified teams are as follows –
India Vs Qatar Squad 2
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith, Prabhsukhan Gill
Defenders: Prabir Das, Rahul Bheke, Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Sumit Rathi, Seriton Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai
Midfielders: Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jackichand Singh
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh, Soosairaj Michael
There are quite a few surprises as Vishal Kaith earns his spot back after a strong season with Chennaiyin FC and such has been the case for Edwin Vanspaul, who marks his maiden national team call-up after a stellar campaign.
In defence, Prabir Das gets recognized for his consistent performances while his ATK teammate Sumit Rathi also gets a call-up for an excellent debut season. Seriton Fernandes finally gets his name on the list, as the Goan right-back has been a fan-favourite for a long time now.
In attack, there aren’t many surprises as Michael Soosairaj earns back his spot with stellar performances for ATK this season, while the regulars in Sunil Chhetri and Manvir Singh retain their places.