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Looking forward to playing at ‘Mecca of Indian football’: Coach Igor Stimac

The last time India played an international match in Kolkata was in 2011 against Malaysia.

Looking forward to playing at ‘Mecca of Indian football’: Coach Igor Stimac
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Published: 5 Oct 2019 3:05 PM GMT

India national football team head coach Igor Stimac stated that Blue Tigers are ‘looking forward to playing in Kolkata’ after a prolonged gap of eight years. The Indian team is scheduled to play against Bangladesh in their second home game of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) Stadium on October 15. The last time India played an international match in Kolkata was in 2011 against Malaysia. 

Stimac said at a media interaction in Guwahati,  

I can say how happy we are to go back to Kolkata. It is the 'Mecca of Indian Football.’ I can see the excitement amongst the players about playing in Kolkata. I have been told that ticket sales are going at a great rate, and there might be 60-65 thousand people on the 15th.

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"We have started working yesterday. We'll have eleven training sessions, and a friendly match against Northeast United FC on Wednesday. We're happy to be back here where we got fantastic support (against Oman). We wanted to come back here to appreciate the local fans,” Stimac maintained. 

The Indian team is scheduled to play against Bangladesh in their second home game of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on October 15.

The Blue Tigers are currently undergoing a ten-day preparatory camp in Guwahati and are scheduled to reach Kolkata on October 13, two days prior to the match against Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Bangladesh, currently ranked 187 in the recently-released FIFA rankings, went down against Afghanistan in their campaign opener and are scheduled to host Qatar in their next World Cup Qualifier on October 10, 2019.

"We respect Bangladesh as a team. We are aware of the difficulties that we are going to face, and we are working on them. We need to attack for 90 minutes to break two defensive blocks of Bangladesh. They are a good side who try to cover, and close the midfield," he signed off.

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