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10 players who received Indian National Football Team call-ups for the first time in Oman and UAE friendlies

Ishan Pandita is one of the ten players to bag an Indian National Football Team call-up for the first time from Igor Stimac (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Ishan Pandita is one of the ten players to bag an Indian National Football Team call-up for the first time from Igor Stimac (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Abhishek Kundu
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The Indian National Football Team will be back in action after more than a year. The Blue Tigers played their last competitive match in November 2019 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

The Indian National Football Team will play friendly matches against Oman and UAE on March 25th and 29th respectively. Igor Stimac has announced a 35-man probable list for the two friendlies.

Here, we look at ten players who received Indian National Football Team call-ups for the first time.


#10 Ishan Pandita

Ishan is a classic poacher who can sniff a goalscoring opportunity. The youngster has scored four goals in nine substitute appearances for FC Goa in his debut ISL season.

#9 Bipin Singh

Bipin Singh has been fantastic in the left-wing and has duly been rewarded with an Indian National Football Team call-up (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Bipin Singh has been fantastic in the left-wing and has duly been rewarded with an Indian National Football Team call-up (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

Bipin has found a new lease of life while playing under Sergio Lobera for Mumbai City FC. The ex-Shillong Lajong ace is the only player to score a hat-trick this season. Deployed mainly in the left-wing, the speedster has scored 5 goals and bagged 4 assists in 19 matches.

#8 Mashoor Shereef

India lack centre-backs and Mashoor has made a strong case for himself with his performance for NorthEast United FC. Although he has played only 9 matches this season, the burly defender has made 34 clearances and 15 blocks.

#7 Akash Mishra

Akash Mishra can give tough competition to Mandar Rao Dessai and Subhasish Bose for the left-back position in the Indian National Football Team (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Akash Mishra can give tough competition to Mandar Rao Dessai for the left-back position in the Indian National Football Team (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

Coming from the Indian Arrows setup, Akash is one of the most consistent players deployed in the left-back position. His superb positioning skills have racked up 80 tackles, 55 interceptions, and 37 blocks in 20 matches for Hyderabad FC.

#6 Jeakson Singh

Kerala Blasters' coach Kibu Vicuna deployed Jeakson both as a holding midfielder and a central defender this season. Although his side once again had a forgetful season, Jeakson came up with timely interventions. His ability in the air makes a strong case for a national team selection.

#5 Liston Colaco

Liston Colaco's dribbling skills has earned him an Indian National Football Team call-up (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Liston Colaco's dribbling skills has earned him an Indian National Football Team call-up (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

Liston had a breakthrough season for Hyderabad FC in this edition of ISL. Having developed immensely under Manolo Marquez, he played as a right-winger and an attacking midfielder. Liston has bagged 2 goals and 3 assists, courtesy of his dribbling skills.

#4 Ashutosh Mehta

Despite winning the I-League twice with Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan previously, the Indian National Football Team call-up eluded Ashutosh for a long time. Having signed with NorthEast United FC this season, Mehta has come up with 51 tackles and 23 blocks in 16 matches as a right-back. His pin-point crosses have also seen him bag two assists.

#3 Seriton Fernandes

Seriton Fernandes will be hopeful of bringing his consistency to the Indian National Football Team (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Seriton Fernandes will be hopeful of bringing his consistency to the Indian National Football Team (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

Seriton has always been unlucky in the past not to get an Indian National Football Team call-up, despite performing consistently for FC Goa in the ISL. The 28-year-old right-back caught the attention of Igor Stimac after making 48 tackles and 26 interceptions in 18 matches this season.

#2 Mohammad Yasir

Hyderabad FC have been a platform for youngsters to showcase their talent this season. Yasir thus got an opportunity to impress with 42 crosses in 18 matches, apart from 2 assists. As an attacking midfielder, his timely runs have troubled the opposition numerous times and won crucial fouls for his team.

#1 Lalengmawia

Lalengmawia (left) scored a huge goal from 30 yards out in NorthEast United FC's last ISL match and will compete with the likes of Rowllin Borges and Anirudh Thapa in the Indian National Football Team (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)
Lalengmawia (left) scored a huge goal from 30 yards out in NorthEast United FC's last ISL match and will compete with the likes of Rowllin Borges and Anirudh Thapa in the Indian National Football Team (Image Courtesy: ISL Media)

In the recent past, India has seen the emergence of prolific defensive midfielders. Lalengmawia will hope to follow in the footsteps of Anirudh Thapa and Rowllin Borges to continue the tradition.

The NorthEast United FC player is extremely disciplined and has made a total of 90 tackles while receiving only one yellow card. Their head coach Khalid Jamil even claimed that he is one of the best Indian players of all time.


Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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