Kolkata: India will be seeking nothing less than a win against Cambodia when the sides clash in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Group D encounter on Wednesday at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, kick-off 8:30 pm.
The match will be crucial to either team for distinct reasons. India will be aiming to begin their qualification campaign without any hiccups at their own backyard, while Cambodia who are coached by Japanese legend Keisuke Honda, will be eager to make a strong statement against a team who are ranked higher then them.
The clash promises to be an exciting affair and India head coach Igor Stimac believe his young and exciting squad will be up for the challenge.
The Blue Tigers will be looking to make their intentions clear on the opening day itself, and Stimac insisted that there are no nerves in the team and all the players are confident.
“The first match is always hard because there is always some uncertainty. We will approach the game with all the seriousness it deserves.” Stimac said.
Starting well in the first fixture of their AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers campaign would be important according to the Croatian tactician.
“We are not walking into this match thinking we are favorites. It does not matter to us because football has and is changing a lot. It always comes down to 90-minutes for both teams and it is exactly how both sets of players will do within that time.” Stimac added.
Blue Tigers faithful will have been immensely looking forward to their beloved team’s opening fixture, and the venue is sure to be packed hours before kick-off.
That backing will be a big boost to the home side but will also bring with it a great deal of expectation and how India handle that pressure will be a key factor in their chances of success, and Stimac feels his side must make the most of the home support.