India vs China: Defeating them is tough, but not impossible, says India and Kerala Blasters defender Anas Edathodika
Indian national football team defender Anas Edathodika, who is expected to partner up with Sandesh Jhingan when the Blue Tigers take on China in an international friendly at 5.05 pm IST on October 13, feels that upsetting the higher-ranked neighbours in front of their home crowd is "a tremendously tough job but not an impossible one."
“It'll be a tremendously tough job for us against China, that too at an away match. But winning isn’t impossible. We had a 13-match unbeaten streak which included nine wins recently and that is a perfect testament to the team's hard work,” Anas said.
“Coach Stephen Constantine has backed the younger guys and they have also repaid it equally. There's a feel-good factor in Indian football at this moment and it provides us with a positive vibe,” he added.
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Having won 12 out of the 17 encounters between the two countries so far, the Red Dragons have always enjoyed an upper hand over their India. But the 31-year-old defender said that they will start fresh on Oct 13.
"Indian football has grown by leaps and bounds in the last three to four years. Younger players have put in terrific effort along with the seniors, which has eventually helped the team gain more success up front. We can't deny the history but both teams have to start afresh on October 13. Both teams will start from zero,” Anas said.
"(Sunil) Chhetri, Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu), Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sandesh Jhingan have been here for a long time and they never shy away from sharing a bit or two with the youngsters."
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Being a defender, Anas is aware of the challenges that he will come up against on match-day. But the Kerala Blasters player says he's confident of turning in a great shift at the backline for India. "Every match is a tough test for the defenders. But we have to work cohesively as a unit. Everyone, including the attackers, midfielders and defenders, have to play their part to get the job done. It's a no-brainer that the match will be a gruelling one for us," he said.
The kick off on October 13 is at 5.05 pm IST and will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network and Jio TV.