The Indian men’s soccer team led by Sunil Chhetri will play their first of two international friendlies against Nepal in Kathmandu on Thursday.
The two friendlies will be an ideal preparation for India for next month’s SAFF Championships in the Maldives.
“We are happy to be here and happy to be together again. These two international friendlies will help us prepare for the next SAFF Championship in the Maldives next month.
“I just know these games will be good and we have to learn on the pitch,” Indian head coach Igor Stimac said in a press release.
The second friendly match against Nepal will be played on September 5. Both matches will take place at Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu.
The SAFF Five-Team Championships will take place October 3-13 at the Malé National Stadium.
Besides India, the other participating teams are Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal.
However, with dark clouds hovering across the sky, the threat of rain hangs over the game. The field conditions at the training ground were already difficult due to the torrential rains.
“I hope we don’t have heavy rains during games so that we can play some exciting football,” Stimac said.
“We looked at Nepal as an opponent and the kind of progress they made in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. They showed they can play good football and defend as a team. My colleague has done a good job and there are a lot of young players in the team. “
Indian talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri is the crowd favorite. From landing at the airport to the team’s hotel and training sessions, the locals ask for a click.
“I admit I have a soft spot for Nepal. But that ends the moment I step on the pitch. My mother is from Nepal and whatever sport culture and discipline has been instilled, it It’s thanks to my mother, ”Chhetri said.
“Nepal has always made it very difficult for us on the football field, and we expect nothing less. Playing Nepal at home and away from Nepal are two different things, and let’s not forget that ‘is the home team here. “
It will be the first time that India has taken part in an international match since they faced Afghanistan in their last group match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers in Qatar on June 15.