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What should be Igor Stimac's approach for India-Qatar game?

Published at :June 11, 2024 at 4:01 PM
Modified at :June 11, 2024 at 4:01 PM
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(Courtesy : AFC Asian Cup)

Yash Pratap Singh

Igor Stimac will look to play attacking football to secure a win against Qatar.

The Indian national men’s football team will play their sixth and final game of the 2026 FIFA World Cup and 2027 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers on June 11 against the reigning Asian champions Qatar, away from home.

The Blue Tigers come into this game after a disappointing and emotional 0-0 draw against Kuwait where they also bid goodbye to their captain Sunil Chhetri. Qatar, on the other hand, were also held to a 0-0 draw by Afghanistan last week.

India’s chances of making it to the third round will depend on how they perform against Qatar. On that note, let us look at what should be Igor Stimac’s approach for the game against Qatar.

Play your best XI

It is a do-or-die game for India because any slip-ups at this stage will put curtains on their hopes for a spot in the third round of the qualifiers. Igor Stimac will therefore need to put his best men on the pitch who can fuel India’s hope for a spot in the next round.

He made certain strange changes in the last game that affected India’s energy on the pitch. Stimac needs to start Brandon Fernandes, who will be responsible for creating chances for India, in the next game. Be it attack or defense, Stimac must also keep his best players on the pitch for the majority of the game because there won’t be a second chance after this. 

More link-up play between midfield and attack

Fans and football pundits have been very vocal about bridging the gap between the midfield and attack. It has been a never-ending issue for the Blue Tigers, and they have failed to address it time and again.

There is always a lack of synergy between the midfielders and the forwards in the national team which results in loss of possession and lack of chances during crucial junctures of the game.

Sahal Abdul Samad, Brandon Fernandes and Anirudh Thapa will have to ensure a smooth and successful transfer of the ball to both Liston Colaco and Lallianzuala Chhangte who will be operating on the wings.

Capitalize on your chances

The Blue Tigers have a huge problem to address, especially after the departure of their record goalscorer Sunil Chhetri. India has been very poor when it comes to scoring and with Sunil Chhetri gone, the task is going to be even more difficult.

In the last game against Kuwait, Igor Stimac’s side missed a couple of clear-cut chances and had to settle for a draw.

But, the dynamics of this game are very different as a win, or a draw can get India through to the next round. Unlike Kuwait, Qatar will not present India with many opportunities which means they will have to pounce on every chance that they get.

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