Indian men’s national soccer team is set to face Jordan on Saturday in a friendly in Doha, in the final preparation game before AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers that will begin from June 8, 2022, in Kolkata. The international friendly will be India’s last preparatory game before their third-round qualifier for its AFC Asian Cup in Kolkata. The vital friendly prepares the forthcoming 2023 AFC Asian Cup third round qualifiers. Upbeat about bringing back their all-time leading run-scorer, Sunil Chhetri, India, will have a daunting task ahead when they take on top-ranked Jordan in an international soccer friendly match at Doha on May 28.
Indian coach Igor Stimac announced the squad of 25 players for the critical friendly. Indian men’s national soccer team has done well; they must be rewarded for it by getting good results in qualifiers, says coach Igor Stimac. The Indian national football team is better than Belarus in the FIFA rankings (93rd place FIFA), but it is not as physical as Belarus. Jordan’s national football team has started making more significant improvements under Serbian head coach Branko Smiljanic, who helped Jordan achieve good game results in their opening World Cup qualifying match in 2002, but failed to get Jordan through the qualifiers.
Under Egyptian manager Mahmoud El-Gohary, Jordan’s national team was able to qualify for its first-ever AFC Asian Cup, held in China in 2004, and helped Jordan make it into the quarterfinals of the tournament, but failed to reach the semifinals after losing to Japan in a penalty shootout after the game ended with overtime tied at 1-1. The first Jordanian international game was played in 1953, in Egypt, with Jordan being defeated 3-1 by Syria.
Meanwhile, India’s men’s national football team has been strengthened with the arrival of players from ATK Mohun Bagan, who had thus far missed out on a preparatory camp because of their club’s commitments to the AFC Cup. Bipin Singh did not feature in the Indian national team squad of 25 players who are travelling to Doha to play Jordan. Brandon Fernandes missed India’s past two friendlies with an injury, chomping at the bit to get in the playing eleven.
Rahul Bheke is one of the fittest players in the team, who comes into international friendlies coming off of awe-inspiring performances for his club Mumbai City FC in the AFC Champions League. While the veteran did not have a stellar season in ISL last term, scoring four goals in 20 games, he will be a crucial player for India’s international side in upcoming friendlies and qualifiers. Hormipam Ruivah made his international debut too, playing against Belarus in the friendly, and he will be disappointed if he is left out of the team for a critical close.