Tim Cahill, like everyone else, knows the Indian football team has a mountain to climb in China. But unlike many who are dismissive of the visitors chances, the ace Australian striker believes India can secure a positive result when the two teams meet in an international friendly on Saturday.
The Australian striker, who joined Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League this season, has the first-hand experience of China’s footballing scenario. The former Everton striker plied his trade in China for two years with two different Chinese Super League teams — Zhejiang Greentown and Shanghai Shenhua — and scored 15 goals during his time there.
“I am not going to compare the levels of the leagues because I have only been in India for a short space of time. I know that India have a big task ahead but they are definitely capable of getting a result if they are disciplined and are set up well,” said Australia’s former star striker who has played four World Cups.
Cahill is the most recognizable and acclaimed international footballer in India at the moment.
India have played China 17 times, without success.
Cahill feels the international friendly against China is a good opportunity for India, and if India have to get a result out of this match, they will have to be more disciplined than their opponents.
“These are exciting times ahead for India and it’s fantastic, especially having to go to China and experience the atmosphere and the level of play. For me, playing in China was fantastic. Getting to understand the local players and also the style of football and playing against China numerous times in competitions. China are a strong team,” said Cahill.
Analysing the strengths and weaknesses of India’s opponents, Cahill said, “(They are) Defensively very good and are set up well. One of the biggest problems they have is of scoring goals but creating chances, defending and build-up play is very good. Their players are technically gifted and are very disciplined.
“They have a good thought process for football and they love the game. It is definitely going to be a difficult game for India because they are very physical and are very quick with the way they move the ball. It will be a tough encounter,” he said.
“I know that India have a big task ahead but they are definitely capable of getting a result if they are disciplined and are set up well.”
Cahill made his ISL debut for Jamshedpur FC against Bengaluru FC. His club duties will resume after the ongoing international break when Jamshedpur FC take on ATK on October 21.