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Preview: India vs Nepal - India Seek Momentum Before AFC Asian Cup Qualifier

Monday, 5 June 2017|Staff Reporter

Seeking momentum before the crucial Asian Cup Qualifier against Kyrgyz Republic on June 13 (in Bengaluru), the Indian National Team will lock horns with Nepal in an International Friendly on June 06 at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai.

Nepal, who are currently ranked 169 in the latest FIFA rankings, agreed to play an International friendly with neighbours India after Lebanon backed out owing to visa issues. India will be looking for some valuable match practice before the Asian Cup Qualifier.

Previous Meeting: The last time the two teams clashed 18-year old Lallianzuala Chhangte starred in a 4-1 win in the SAFF Suzuki Championship in Trivandrum.

Coach's Quotes:   

Stephen Constantine
: Indian gaffer Stephen Constantine made his intentions crystal clear at the beginning of the press conference. “I hope to get a win against Nepal and I hope to see players who vie for the starting XI put up a good show so I can assess them for the game against Kyrgyz Republic which is a very important match for us,” he stated. 

“The FIFA Rankings are just one aspect of the game. It is not as if we would now relax, we would not be pushing to break the 100 barrier. However, our focus is completely now on Nepal and we will take one game at a time.” Despite being confident Stephen believes that Nepal will be a tough nut to crack. “There are no easy teams. Every team has its own challenges and poses its own difficulties.”

Speaking about the recent rise in the FIFA rankings, Constantine said,"We have developed in the last two years and now is the time to show everyone that we deserve to be here and we have to strive to maintain this style of progress."

The Indian gaffer also went on to inform that Sunil Chhetri and CK Vineeth will be missing the tie. 

Koji Gyotoku: Nepal might be the under-dogs going into this tie but their coach refused to be intimated by India.  “Despite India's rank in the FIFA ladder, we (Nepal) will play for a win and their (India's) ranking does not intimidate us”, he stated. “Infact we are looking to give it our best on the pitch and stun the hosts. At the same time, we respect our opponents and give them due credit for their rise (in the FIFA Rankings), but we will play for nothing less than a win,” Koji went on to add. 

Acknowledging India’s improvement, Koji said, “The Indian Players have improved in the last two years under (Stephen) Constantine and tomorrow’s match will be very difficult for us, but we will play to win.”

Form guide 

Nepal: LDDWL

India: WWWWW

Prediction: India 3-0 Nepal