FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Igor Stimac announces 26-man India squad for Afghanistan and Oman ties
What's the story?
Igor Stimac has named a 26-man squad for the upcoming matches against Afghanistan and Oman. The games will serve as the joint qualification stage for the 2022 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2023 AFC Cup.
In case you didn't know?
India have been drawn alongside 2019 AFC Cup champions Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in a joint qualifiers group for 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Cup. Currently, India are in fourth place after playing three matches.
Following a 2-1 loss against Oman, the Blue Tigers got back on track with a surprise 0-0 draw against Qatar but failed to build on their momentum, as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home against Bangladesh.
The heart of the matter
Indian football head coach Igor Stimac has named a 26-man squad for the upcoming games. Interestingly, Rowllin Borges has been omitted from the squad after picking up an injury against Odisha FC in the Indian Super League. In his absence, the likes of Seiminlen Doungel and Raynier Fernandes have been called up to the squad to add some much needed creative spark to the side.
India's 26-man squad for the joint qualifiers
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Rahul Bheke, Anas Edathodika, Narender, Adil Khan, Sarthak Golui, Subhasish Bose, Mandar Rao Dessai
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Seiminlen Doungel, Raynier Fernandes, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul Samad, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Brandon Fernandes, Ashique Kuruniyan
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh, Farukh Choudhary
Stimac was seen struggling to decide his third choice goalkeeper as he kept juggling with Vishal Kaith and Kamaljit Singh but he has opted for the 19-year old Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem this time around.
After making a disastrous start to their qualifying campaign, India will be hoping to get at least 4 points in the bag from their forthcoming games, in order to get their qualifying campaign back on track.