Three major concerns for Team India ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup
What a dominant of Football by the Blue Tigers at the 2018 Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai! Kudos to Chhetri's army for winning the title in style. There were several positives to take from India's win in the four Nation tournament- 'Captain Marvel' Sunil Chhetri's goal scoring spree, the rock-solid Indian defense and of course the overwhelming support of the Mumbaikars. All these factors contributed immensely to India's success during the ten-day tournament.
This victory would be a morale-booster for the players, who will now be confident enough to face stronger opponents in the days ahead. Though Team India dominated for most parts of the tournament, their performance against New Zealand in their final group game was not a satisfying one. The 1-2 defeat against the Kiwis not just reflected the flaws in Indian defense, but also the need for a perfect second choice goal-keeper.
The Mumbai City FC shot stopper, Amrinder Singh who was deployed instead of the usual goal-keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was unable to respond perfectly when the All Whites were on target. It was India's only loss at the 2018 Intercontinental Cup and the fact that it came in Gurpreet's absence signifies his role in front of the goal. He kept clean sheets in all the three matches he played for the Blue Tigers in the tournament.
With just six months to go for the all-important 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Constantine's men have very little time to overcome their shortcomings. India, who will be playing their first AFC Asian Cup in eight years (they last played in the 2011 edition at Qatar) need to put up a good show at the Asian level this time. Let us now look at three major concerns ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup which is all set to kick-off from January 5.