Intercontinental Cup 2018: 5 Things India gained from the Intercontinental Cup
We take a look at 5 things India gained from the Intercontinental Cup, keeping an eye on the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Indian won the inaugural Intercontinental Cup by beating Kenya 2-0 in the finals in Mumbai. It was a near perfect tournament for India during the international break, and the Blue Tigers have made full use of it barring the defeat to New Zealand.
India needed a series of friendlies during the International break. As the Asian Cup draws closer, the Blue Tigers need to have as much match practice as they can get, and the Intercontinental Cup provided just the platform.
Playing teams like Kenya, New Zealand, and Chinese Taipei helped India assess itself with teams from different continents, before taking part in the Continental Tie in UAE.
In this piece, we take a look at 5 Things that India gained from the Intercontinental Cup keeping in mind the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
#5 Blue Pilgrims
The Blue Pilgrims actually were formed during the FIFA U17 WC that was hosted in India, to support the U17 team, who were representing the country for the first time in a FIFA event. It was the Intercontinental Cup though that showcased what a bunch of passionate fans can do to uplift the team from the stands.
The best part of the fan movement is that fans have kept aside their club rivalries at bay and united under the banner of Blue Pilgrims. The fans movement has participation from all major clubs of India, including East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC, Mumbai City FC, Mumbai FC, FC Pune City, and North East United FC.
They performed the famous Viking clap after every game, irrespective of the result, and also put up a beautiful 3D Tifo during the finals. There constant chanting and singing were an added boost for the players on the pitch, and that really reflected on the pitch.
Even though Captain Sunil Chhetri shared a video on Social Media pleading fans to come to the stadium, the Blue Pilgrims though were present in the stands from day one.
If the Blue Pilgrims can maintain the support they have showcased in Mumbai, India will have no dearth of a12th man in the AFC Asian Cup in UAE.