After the jump, Stimac India seems to jump when Bangladesh comes to call
KOLKATA: There is a saying in Croatia: Prvo skoci pa reci: 'hop'! - which can be freely translated as: first jump, then say 'jump'.
India, under Igor Stimac, has made the leap by keeping the Asian champions Qatar in their own backyard and raising expectations in the qualifiers for the current World Cup. It's time for the former Croatian World Cupper to tell his players to 'jump' at the opportunity to mark a new beginning while they host Bangladesh in their next game at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
By Stimac's own admission, the challenging but impressive goalless draw at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium last month has awakened the feeling of the occasion, which is barely seen in Indian football, and the Bangladesh game represents a perfect opportunity for the hosts can make sure that the momentum is not lost in the post-Doha rampage and uproar.
In the first two games we were not favorites. But now all the pressure falls on us. The expectations and emotions surrounding this match are due only to our fight against Qatar. Somehow we have woken up everyone with our recent performances. Everyone is now aware that in our day, we can play against the best. That is why it is imperative that we win this game against Bangladesh so that we have the opportunity to continue dreaming, Stimac said during his pre-match interaction with journalists at a hotel in the city. Monday.
Sunil Chhetri - the formidable constant in the transition of the team from the counterattack side of Stephen Constantine to the young, more buoyant and attacking Indian of Stimac - revealed that they had a plan to upload some videos on social media platforms, urging fans to cram the stadium and act like the twelfth man. That plan was quickly archived upon learning that all tickets for Tuesday's game, which mark the return of the national team to the city for the first time in eight years, have already been exhausted, which shows how a newly discovered aspiration now coexists with the new confidence of the team to overcome the odds.
In this context, Bangladesh plans to poop at the party of the hosts. As your captain Jamal Bhuyan He noted: India is the favorite and the pressure is on them. We are looking to break the hearts of India tomorrow. I am going to tell my children to go there and do their best in front of such a large crowd, said Bangladesh, born in Copenhagen. said the midfielder.
Interestingly, Bangladesh is also entering the contest thanks to creditable performance against the Asian champions themselves and, despite losing that match 0-2, their British coach Jamie Day took the heart of the team's fighting spirit.
Qatar had two shots on goal and scored. We had five shots on goal but we couldn't score. We have to keep creating opportunities. We have to keep scoring goals. This is basic, he said.
With Bangladesh fueling hopes of disturbing Big Brother, India is aware that it has a job available. On the one hand, they will look for their first victory in three qualifiers and, on the other hand, Stimac will be forced to readjust his defense after Sandesh Jhingan Long dismissal injury. It is likely that Anas Edathodike, who reversed his decision to hand over his Indian boots after a Stimac call, is paired with Adil Khan, but it remains to be seen if Rahul Bheke - who had a stellar performance in Doha but recovered from a recent groin injury - begins.
The Bangladeshi coach said he still has to decide on his XI, but it is likely that visitors will keep a tight leash on Chhetri with Day pointing out that if he keeps room for the big players, he will be punished.
Chhetri, however, enjoyed the challenge.
I will be very happy if you mark me, because it will give room for the likes of Manvir Singh, Udanta Singh and Ashique (Kuruniyan) to demonstrate what they are capable of doing, said the 35-year-old forward.
Stimac insisted that it's not about underestimating opponents, but Chhetri and company are ready for a quick start in their World Cup qualifiers to prove that this is a new India: dream and dare.