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Chhetri-led India seek full points vs Afghanistan

Updated on: 21 March,2024 06:21 AM IST  |  Saudi Arabia

Reigning Asian champions Qatar lead the standings with six points from two wins, while Kuwait are second with one win

Chhetri-led India seek full points vs Afghanistan

Sunil Chhetri

Bolstered by the return of Jeakson Singh and Anwar Ali, the Indian football team will renew its quest for a maiden entry into the third round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers when it faces a weakened Afghanistan on Thursday.

With mid-field general Jeakson and centre-back Anwar back in the line-up after long injury layoffs, because of which India suffered in recent past, the Blue Tigers will fancy their chances against the lower-ranked opponents in the second-round preliminary joint qualification match.

However, mid-fielder Sahal Abdul Samad has been ruled out of the contest due to a hamstring injury he suffered in training on Tuesday. With three points and one win from two matches, India currently occupy the second place in the Group A pecking order. Reigning Asian champions Qatar lead the standings with six points from two wins, while Kuwait are second with one win. Having lost both their games so far, Afghanistan are placed last.

Nobody in this Indian squad can tell about Afghanistan better than Sunil Chhetri, who is going strong at 39 and will be spearheading the visiting attack. “They have progressively improved from when we met them for the first time. The games were comfortable, but slowly and steadily, they progressed. And because of being in the same region, the rivalry also generated,” said Chhetri.

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