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Football World Cup Qualifiers: Bangladesh couldn’t be taken lightly, says Indian football coach Stimac

Dubai: On the eve of the combined qualifiers for the World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 India football’s head coach Igor Stimac on Sunday said, “Bangladesh an annoying team as they have a great fighting spirit on the pitch.” 

After their 0-1 loss to Asian Qatar on June 3, Stimac’s boys will aim to garner full points against Bangladesh on Monday and Afghanistan on June 15. If they do that it would enable India to move into the final round of the Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers with renewed vigor. India are out of contention for the 2022 World Cup.

“In the football world, I would say they (Bangladesh) are a very annoying team who disturb the opposition with so much defensive work, quality work — with blocks — quite similar to what we did against Qatar,” said Stimac. “In football at times, you need to do everything possible to irritate the rival team, to annoy them, to cut their passing. Bangladesh are fighting it for every point in the group, and whatever they do, they do it as a team.”

“The match against Bangladesh is a big game for our fans and the team. We are going to approach the game to win it without meaning any disrespect to our opponents. Our aim has stayed the same since the beginning to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023,” said Stimac.

Defender Sandesh Jhingan stressed that the team would aims to carry forward the “character” displayed in the match against Qatar into the match against Bangladesh. “The match against Qatar was not easy. But we displayed a certain character and arrogance in the 90 minutes against the Asian champions. We aim to do great in our second game. We will give our best with our desire, commitment and try to make everyone proud,” he said.

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