Asian Cup draw a mixed bag for AFF nations

07 May, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Philippine Azkals meet China, Kyrgyzstan and South Korea in Group C of Asian Cup

Just when the India name came out, I felt really good. We got different teams, so I was already prepared (for the worst).

Football fans around the globe will witness a stunning new trophy lifted by the champions of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 at the iconic Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Feb.1, 2019. Chhetri said that the difference between the two teams is that the 2011 squad was a settled side and this time, they have a young and dynamic side.

"We got some hard ones and some interesting ones". The last time India qualified for the Asian Cup was in 2011, when Chhetri was a youngster and this time around, he is the one who has to guide the team.

With an outstanding generation of talent, a core group of players now with invaluable experience in Asia's leading domestic competition and a wily coach who knows how to navigate his way out of the cut and thrust of tournament play, this is a wonderful opportunity for the Thais to go deep into the latter stages. We know whichever team we face, it's going to be hard.


If they were to emerge on top of Group A they would then be paired with the third-placed finisher from one of the groups, where both the Philippines and Vietnam reside thus potentially setting up an all-Southeast Asian clash in the second round which would be huge for the region. India had finished runners-up to Israel in 1964.

Indian football has been on the rise since the last couple of years. He believes that the sheer number of quality coaches in the ISL and I-League have helped the players. It's the pedigree that he comes with. But going forward, they have probably one of the best attacking trios I've seen in [Ahmed] Khalil, Ali Mabkhout and Omar [Abdulrahman]. "It is not", he said on the sidelines of an initiative by KIA Motors India to select two school children as official match ball carriers for the upcoming World Cup in Russian Federation.

Chhetri said he was happy with the progress of Indian football but they need to play a lot more away games to test themselves. While they did lose their last match against Kyrgyzstan, the Blue Tigers will now be focusing on their preparation for the continental tournament.

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