India to play Bahrain with ‘brave attitude’
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
India head coach Igor Stimac is looking for his national team players to make the most of their two friendly matches in Bahrain this week against Bahrain and Belarus.
The Indians take on their Bahraini counterparts tonight at the Muharraq Club Stadium in Arad at 7pm. The match is scheduled for a 7pm kick-off and all fans are welcome.
Entrance is free for all. India also play Belarus on Saturday at Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town. “I want give these boys the opportunity to play against good opponents and I expect them to carry a brave attitude tomorrow once they are on the pitch,” Stimac was quoted as saying yesterday.
“I will try to put my best starting eleven with some new faces and want to see how they do against higher-ranked teams and later can assess them for the Qualifiers in June.” Bahrain will also play Belarus on Tuesday next week.
Both India and Bahrain are using the friendlies as part of their preparations for the third round of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 this June. Bahrain is in Group E alongside Turkmenistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia, while India are in Group D with Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia.
Bahrain head coach Helio Sousa has named a 26-player squad for this training period, which continues until March 29. The national team’s training roster includes Ali Madan, Abdulla Hazaa, Ali Haram, Abdulla Yousef, Komail Al Aswad, Mohammed Jassim Marhoon, Sayed Redha Isa, Jassim Al Shaikh, Hamad Shamsan, Abdulla Efrih, Abdulwahab Al Malood, Amine Hasan, Hamza Juban, Hasan Karrani, Waleed Al Hayam, Sayed Mohammed Jaafar, Ahmed Abdulla, Mahdi Humaidan, Mohammed Hardan, Sayed Dhiya Saeed, Mahdi Abduljabbar, Ammar Abbas, Ebrahim Al Khattal, Abbas Ayyad, Abdulaziz Mohamed and Abdulla Hashash.
The AFC Asian Cup is scheduled to kick off on June 16 next year in China. Bahrain are looking to secure their seventh appearance in the tournament proper. They first appeared in 1988, and have qualified for the last five tournaments in 2004, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
The Bahrainis’ best finish in the competition was fourth in 2004. They reached the last 16 in 2019, but did not make it past the group stage the other times.