Indian Football: 5 Things to Expect from AFC U-23 Qualifier between India and Kyrgyzstan
The Indian side will face the Kyrgyz Republic in a do-or-die encounter in the last game of the AFC U23 qualifiers.
The India U-23 football team will end their AFC Asian U23 qualifiers campaign with a do-or-die game against the Kyrgyz Republic. This is their last group game and after two matches the group is evenly poised for the last day's decider. The Blue Colts will look to win the match and also hope that the result of the Oman and UAE match goes in their favor. Igor Stimac's men suffered a 1-0 defeat in the last match against UAE as they conceded a late penalty allowing the hosts to bag all three points. The Bridge comes up with the 5 things that we can expect from this encounter.
Must win clash
India will be looking to finish their qualifiers campaign with a win but even that does not guarantee their place in the main tournament. The equation is very interesting, in the case of two or more teams finishing on the same points, head to head and disciplinary points will decide the fate of the teams.
Stimac's men can still go through even with a draw against the Kyrgyz Republic. But the Blue Colts will look to increase their chances by winning the last game and ending the qualifiers on a high note.
Igor Stimac's boys were resolute in defense against the hosts, United Arab Emirates. They held their fort for the majority of the game only to throw it all away in the end by conceding a penalty. The spot-kick allowed Abdullah Idrees to score the solitary goal in the game handing UAE their only win in the tournament.
The Croatian tactician will hope for more of the same against the Kyrgyz Republic in a very crucial clash. Players like Asish Rai, Deepak Tangri, Narender Gehlot, and Akash Mishra have been pretty good in the last two matches and they will hope that they can deliver an even better performance in their last qualifiers clash.
Consistent in the playing lineup
The Croatian tactician fielded a well-rounded starting lineup against the UAE. He missed Apuia in the first game but Jeakson Singh came in and delivered the good in India's win against Oman.
It will be interesting to see how much energy the players have for the last match. Players like Rahim Ali, Vikram Pratap Singh, and Rahul KP will be crucial and if they manage to play the majority of the game, India will surely make their mark against the Kyrgyz Republic.
Stimac will look to go ahead with an unchanged lineup, as it allows them to balance in midfield and the defense has also stood up to the challenge in the last two matches. Stimac will look to go ahead with an unchanged lineup from the last match, he will just hope that his forwards find their finishing touch.
Kyrgyzstan's fluid offense
Just like India, the Kyrgyz Republic will also look to win this match. Hence they will come hard at the Blue Colts. Till now they might have only scored a single goal against the UAE U23, they still have a potent forward line to challenge the Indian U23 defense.
Their main man Maksat Alygulov will look to spearhead the Kyrgyz Republic. He may not have scored in the qualifiers but his exceptional scoring prowess may come in handy for the central Asian outfit. Apart from Alygulov, wingers like Abrorbek Askarov and Ernaz Abilov will also look to challenge the Indian U23 backline. They have the pace to burn and are also technically sound, they will cause some trouble for the Indian backline.
India needs to be clinical
The Blue Colts have only scored once from open play through Vikram Pratap Singh. The other goal was scored by Rahim Ali from the spot. They had several chances against the UAE U23 side but they were not clinical enough to take the lead. Hence they eventually lost against the hosts.
Players like Rahim Ali, Vikram Pratap Singh, and Rahul Kp will have to pull up their socks. They have to put on their shooting boots in their match against the Kyrgyz Republic. All three of them played really well against Oman but they lacked the freshness against the UAE U23. Hence it will be important for them to put up their best foot forward in a must-win clash.
The match between India U23 and hosts Kyrgyz Republic U23 is scheduled on October 30 from 10:00 PM (IST) onwards. There is no live telecast of the match available. But the Indian football fans will get to stream the match live on the Indian football team's official Facebook page.