Asian Cup: Chhetri says it won't be easy facing India
Captain of the Indian football team, Sunil Chhetri, looks greatly confident before the Men in Blue kickstart their AFC Asian Cup campaign. The talismanic forward has said that India will be a difficult team to beat for any side. India have been drawn against Thailand, Bahrain, and hosts UAE in Group A, and will look forward to reach the knockout stage. Further details follow.
India riding high on confidence after matches against better sides
Before traveling to UAE, India were involved in matches against opponents ranking superior to then in FIFA's ratings. India (ranked 97) held China (ranked 76) to a respectable draw and even drew their match against a formidable Oman. Their loss surprisingly came against a lower-ranked Jordan who defeated them with a scoreline of 1-2.
Sunil Chhetri's comments on India's chances
The Indian captain said that it would not be an easy job to face the team, as everyone is ready and excited for the Asian Cup. Apart from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Chhetri himself, the other members of the squad have never played in Asia's premier footballing tournament and every one of them will be wanting to give their best for the country.
India focusing on one team at a time
Chhetri also added that India will be taking each match as it comes, and is thus focused on their first match, which is against Thailand. The most prolific goalscorer in Indian football's history, Chhetri will also be touching the record of former captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who has earned 107 caps for India. Chhetri's appearances currently stand at 104.
Constantine says the team will make India proud
Though it will be a tough competition for India, head coach Stephen Constantine has echoed Chhetri's views that the Indian team will be able to make the nation proud. It was under Constantine that India had broken into the top 100 in FIFA rankings. India has to perform better than the 2011 Asian Cup where they lost all of their group stage matches.