The ball has already got rolling. Now it’s India’s turn. The defending champions, the hosts of the present edition take on Afghanistan in their first match in Group A at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday – time again for football lovers in Delhi to watch the National Team in action.
Almost everyone would say India would win the Championship – but if you look beneath the notion, it’s not that easy.
However, chances have brightened as two of their star strikers Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua, who were sorely missed in the last International Friendly against Zambia are back with the team.
The Indian team who underwent their training session in the morning slugged it hard at the Ambedkar Stadium. The mood seemed positive with the players enjoying Delhi’s weather.
But it wasn’t all about fun. Team Coach Savio Medeira got down to business when he said, “Afghanistan are a capable side. The exuberance of youth stands out. This match will surely be a very good challenge for us.”
“They have been playing very well in the recent past. So we need to be extra careful.”
“The Championship gives us the opportunity to further improve at the International Level,” he added.
The Kick-off is slated for 3pm on Saturday and would be telecast live on Ten Action+.
India and Afghanistan — Head To Head (All Tournaments)
Total Matches – 12
India Won – 10
Afghanistan Won – 1
Drawn – 1
India Goals – 25
Afganistan Goals – 5
Last Two Matches in SAFF Cup
12.1.03 – India – 4 Afghanistan – 0 – Dhaka – 2003 (Ashim Biswas-2 Alvito D Cunha-2)
5.12.09 – India – 1 Afghanistan – 0 – Dhaka – 2009 (Jeje Lalpekhlua)