The Indian football team will face Afghanistan in their second group stage game of AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualification at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday, June 11. The match will kick-off at 8:30 PM IST.
Coming on the back of an inspiring 2-0 win over Cambodia, the Sunil Chhetri-led team will aim to maintain their perfect record against Afghanistan, having won six of their 10 matches against them. Afghanistan, on the other hand, have managed a solitary win over India in all these years.
Interestingly, despite a near-perfect record, Igor Stimac is yet to win against the Afghans. Since his arrival in 2019 the teams have played back-to-back 1-1 draws against each other in the World Cup Qualifiers.
“The last time we played Afghanistan in Doha we were better than them in each segment. Now we are in better shape than what we were last time around. I am very confident about the situation we are in, and my expectations are that we will win this game,” said Stimac.
For Afghanistan, while they are coming on the back of a 2-1 defeat against Hong Kong, they will be determined to get a positive result on Saturday.
“Afghanistan players are physically very strong. Positioning will be the key, and good reading of the game will be crucial. We need to keep tight lines, and win more duels. We need to be clever,” Stimac added.
The Lions of Khorasan, Afghanistan, threatened Hong Kong at regular intervals, but the lack of clinical edge haunted them in the end. Come Saturday, they will hope to put on a better display, especially in attack where they have a great competition.
“We have watched India and are preparing for them. Both teams know each other well. We expect a great game,” said Afghanistan head coach Anoush Dastgir ahead of the match.
India vs Afghanistan probable playing XI
Indian playing XI (probable): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (goal-keeper); Naorem Roshan Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra; Suresh Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad; Brandon Fernandes, Manvir Singh, Liston Colaco; Sunil Chhetri
Afghanistan playing XI (probable): Ovayz Azizi (goal-keeper); David Najem, Sharif Mukhammad, Zohib Amiri, Najim Haidary; Farshad Noor, Noor Husin; Maziar Kouhyar, Omid Popalzay, Omran Haydari; Mushtaq Ahmadi.
Where to watch India vs Afghanistan in AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualification?
The live telecast of India vs Afghanistan football match in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualification will be available on Star Sports 1 Hindi/HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil and Star Sports 1 Bangla TV channels in India.
The live streaming of India vs Afghanistan can be viewed on Disney+ Hotstar and Jio TV.
Featured photo: AFP / Prakash Mathema