Kolkata, Aug 27 (IANS) A day after the Indian men’s senior national football team beat I-League side Mohammedan Sporting 2-0 in an exhibition match at the VYBK on August 26 evening, head Coach Igor Stimac maintained that “we need to be careful as we head to the next two matches (friendlies against Nepal)”.
He also named the list of 25 players who will be travelling to Nepal to play back-to-back international friendlies on September 2 and 5, respectively.
“We can’t expect much after 10 days of preparation. The legs are still heavy from the load, and we need to slow down, and refresh the players,” Stimac told the-aiff.com.
“I am happy with the manner our players performed (against Mohammedan Sporting). They should have scored a few goals much earlier. But it was not easy under the heavy downpour, and a heavy pitch,” Stimac said.
It rained all through the match, and the downpour was heavy from midway in the second half.
“The conditions were challenging,” Stimac added. “The boys are all ready for 45 minutes, and we need to be careful going into the next two games against Nepal. We understand that the ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC players will be in better shape than others for two matches against Nepal.”
While the ATK Mohun Bagan players joined the camp in Kolkata on Friday, the Bengaluru FC players will join the rest of the squad in New Delhi on August 29 after they completed their AFC Cup assignments in Male (Maldives) recently. India leave for Nepal on August 30.
The national team probables have been training in Kolkata since August 15. That had marked the return of the national camp in Kolkata after 15 years with India last having camped in Kolkata way back in 2006 prior to the FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Saudi Arabia.
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Chinglensana Singh Konsham, Mandar Rao Dessai, Akash Mishra, Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose, Seriton Fernandes.
Midfielders: Lalengmawia, Bipin Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Yasir Mohammad, Glan Martins, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Jeakson Singh, Pronay Halder.
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Farukh Choudhary.