Indian football team’s head coach Igor Stimac has said that the Blue Tigers are eager awaiting their next 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match at Kolkata. India will play Bangladesh at the VYBK on October 15 which will be India’s visit to the venue after eight years. The last time India played an International match in Kolkata was in 2011 against Malaysia.
“I can say how happy we are to go back to Kolkata. It’s the ‘Mecca of Indian Football.’ I can see the excitement amongst the players about playing in Kolkata. I have been told that ticket sales are going at a great rate, and there might be 60-65 thousand people on 15th,” Stimac said at a media interaction in Guwahati on Saturday.
“We have started working yesterday (October 4). We’ll have eleven training sessions, and a friendly match against Northeast United FC on Wednesday (October 9, 2019). We’re happy to be back here where we got fantastic support (against Oman). We wanted to come back here to appreciate the local fans,” Stimac explained.
India, currently engaged in a training camp in Guwahati, will arrive Kolkata on October 13, two days prior to the match against Bangladesh. India need to win their next two matches against Bangladesh and Afghanistan to advance.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh, who are currently ranked 187 in the recently-released FIFA rankings, went down against Afghanistan in their campaign opener and they’re scheduled to host Qatar in their next World Cup Qualifier on October 10.
“We respect Bangladesh as a team. We’re aware of the difficulties that we’re going to face, and we’re working on them. We need to attack for 90 minutes to break two defensive blocks of Bangladesh. They are a good side who try to cover, and close the midfield,” Stimac said.