Indian national football team coach Igor Stimac has stated his focus is now to book a quota for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, for which they need to earn as many points in the remaining 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. India will play Oman in an International friendly this Thursday evening, in Dubai.
India’s 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign has gone downhill from the onset, having lost to Oman 1-2 in the opening game. Till now, the Blue Tigers have played five matches, lost two, and shared points in the remaining ones, which has ended all but India’s hope of progressing to the next round.
With three remaining group stage matches scheduled for June, Igor Stimac’s men can well qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup by finishing as the third-placed team. In fact, the Croat has recently stated that his main focus is now on qualifying for the continental meet, for which they must collect as many points as possible – against Qatar (3rd June), Bangladesh (7th June), and Afghanistan (15th June).
“Our target — from the beginning, has been to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup (2023). We have three games left in this stage of the Qualifiers. We are trying to provide enough time for the players to put in quality work before those games,” said Igor Stimac.
The Indian team is currently in Dubai to play a couple of friendly matches against Oman and UAE, as preparation for the upcoming qualifiers, later this year. Meanwhile, regular players like Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Subhashish Bose, and Pronay Halder will miss the fixtures.