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Asian Games: India face Bangladesh in must-win clash

Updated on: 21 September,2023 09:19 AM IST  |  Hangzhou

Igor Stimac’s team needs to beat Bangladesh in its second Group A game to remain in the fray for the knock-outs

Asian Games: India face Bangladesh in must-win clash

Igor Stimac

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Asian Games: India face Bangladesh in must-win clash

Battered by hosts China in their opening match after playing without any training session, India will be up against a tricky Bangladesh side in their must-win group match in the Asian Games football competition here on Thursday.

A rag-tag Indian team reached here late on Monday and played its first match without proper rest and sleep and was hammered 1-5 by China on Tuesday. Igor Stimac’s team needs to beat Bangladesh in its second Group A game to remain in the fray for the knock-outs.  

A loss on Thursday may not straightway knock India out of reckoning as the best third-placed teams from the six groups can also advance to the Round of 16, but that will leave the team with a lot of uncertainties in the final game. Bangladesh have never been an easy side for India in any level and they will also be desperate for a win after losing their opening match 0-1 to Myanmar.

India will, however, be strengthened after the arrival of defender Konsam Chinglensana Singh, who could not travel with the team before due to a visa delay. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) arranged ‘express visa’ —which could be procured in two-three days—for him and he has arrived here separately.

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It will not be easy for the Sunil Chhetri-led side to beat Bangladesh and log its first win of the competition as the team was assembled at the last minute with very few known faces after the Indian Super League clubs refused to release their players.

Stimac said: “This is our third or fourth-choice team here. I would love to play against China with my best team. Then it would be totally opposite, but the players that are here are heroes.”

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