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AFC Asian Cup: Igor Stimac Stresses On Process Ahead Of Such A Big Tournament

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India will be starting their AFC Asian Cup 2023 campaign against Australia on 13th January 2024. The match will be taking place at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar and promises to be an absolute crackerjack of a contest.

The Blue Tigers will be participating in their 5th AFC Asian Cup and will be oozing with confidence ahead of this grand tournament. Some of the best teams of Asia will be playing in this and India will be facing a stern challenge in this tournament.

Apart from the Ozzies, India will also be locking horns with Uzbekistan and Syria and all the teams are ranked higher than the Indians.

Ahead of the tournament, Head Coach Igor Stimac seemed to be quite confident and spoke to AIFF, in a video released on their social media handles.

“Excited to be back here in Doha, which is becoming kind of a home to us, and we are happy about it because the fan base we have here is huge. It’s enormous, and hopefully, it’s going to help our boys settle down into the first game in the tournament in a proper way,” Stimac told aiff.com.

Igor Stimac highlighted that the Indian football team will be “working on their self-confidence” and is hopeful that the 17 debutants in this competition from his side, gets the experience which is needed.

“We are well aware of our opponents’ strengths and know that nobody expects us to dominate these games. So, we’re going to work on our self-confidence, mostly focusing on the defensive shape and verticality in our game when we get the ball. So, the focus will be on how to enjoy this tournament and make sure that 17 out of 26 boys who are here for the first time participating in a big tournament get the experience which is needed, and which will help us reach the third round of the World Cup qualifier,” he also said.

India’s best finish in AFC Asian Cup was in 1964

When India played their first AFC Asian Cup in 1964, they finished as the runners-up. Harry Wright was the Head Coach of this team and they eventually lost to the hosts, Israel. Inder Singh was the top-scorer of India in this competition, with 2 goals under his belt.

India had a dismal finish in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in UAE. They had finished with the wooden spoon in Group A, with losses against UAE and Bahrain. India had registered a 4-1 dominant victory over Thailand in their opening fixture.

Also read: Historic! Hong Kong Beat China For The First Time In 29 Years

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