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Indian U-23 Football Team

Important to see what senior team wants and play according to that, asserts India U-23 coach Naushad Moosa

Published at :March 19, 2024 at 3:01 PM
Modified at :March 19, 2024 at 3:01 PM
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(Courtesy : AIFF media)

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The Blue Colts will face hosts Malaysia on March 22 and 25

The India U-23 Men’s National Team are currently hard at work in New Delhi, preparing for their two friendly matches, which they will play against Malaysia U-23s in Malaysia, during the March 2024 FIFA Window.

The Blue Colts will face the hosts on March 22 and 25; both matches will kick off at 7.30 p.m. IST.

Coached by former India defender Naushad Moosa, the U-23s have had a few sessions in the capital and will have one more session before flying out to Kuala Lumpur to play the two friendlies.

Moosa, who has been working with the team for the last few days, believes in the importance of working as per the needs of the Senior Men’s Team since the juniors graduating to the next level is the natural, continuous process of taking football ahead.

“It’s important for us to see what the senior team wants and play according to that. These are the boys who will ultimately go and play for the Senior Team,” Moosa told AIFF.

“We have a four-day camp here in Delhi, so we’re trying our best to build from here and go ahead. The most important thing for us at this stage is to give the boys an idea of the way we want to play so that they can execute that on the pitch,” he said.

Malaysia, under Spanish coach Juan Torres Garrido, are currently preparing for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, set to take place in Doha, Qatar, in April. Garrido took charge of the Malaysia U-23s a day before the senior teams of India and Malaysia crossed swords in the Merdeka Tournament last year.

India U-23 training under Naushad Moosa.
India U-23 training (Image Source: AIFF)

Having analysed a few of Malaysia’s matches, Moosa said, “We’ve shown a couple of their matches to the boys, and we are strategizing according to that. They’ve got an attacking team that does not play too many passes in midfield. They like to move the ball quickly and take a lot of shots at the goal, so our boys must be careful. We must play compactly against them.”

The India U23s had a mixed bag of results last year, losing their AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers Group G against hosts China (1-2) and UAE (0-3) in September, but made it to the quarterfinals of the Asian Games in China.

The Malaysia U-23s had beaten Bangladesh (2-0) and the Philippines (4-0), and lost to Thailand (0-1) in the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers last year. Their most recent match was a friendly against China U-23s, which they lost 1-2.

List of 26 probables for India U23 men’s team camp:Goalkeepers: Arsh Anwer Shaikh, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Vishal Yadav

Defenders: Bikash Yumnam, Chingambam Shivaldo Singh, Hormipam Ruivah, Narender, Robin Yadav, Sandip Mandi

Midfielders: Abhishek Suryavanshi, Brison Fernandes, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Aimen, Phijam Sanathoi Meetei, Thoiba Singh Moirangthem, Vibin Mohanan

Forwards: Abdul Rabeeh, Gurkirat Singh, Irfan Yadwad, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Khumanthem Ninthoinganba Meetei, Mohammed Sanan, Parthib Sundar Gogoi, Samir Murmu, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Vishnu Puthiya Valappill

Head coach: Naushad Moosa

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