India’s dream run for the FIFA World Cup is about to start, and the team under the coaching of Igor Stimac shows some potential to clinch the berth for the first time. India have never had the chance to qualify for the biggest phenomenon of Football, FIFA World Cup before. But India’s improved ranking, efforts and new ideas instilled by recent coaches have given a ray of hope for the national side.
For 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar, will start its qualification rounds next year, and India will be taking part in the tournament in Group E in Round 2 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) qualification. India will start the edition opposite the Gulf Champions Oman. The matches will be played in round-robin format.
Team India holds FIFA ranking of 103, while the rest of teams India will be taking on are; AFC Cup Champions Qatar having a ranking of 62; Oman on the rank of 87; Afghanistan on 149; while Bangladesh currently holds the 182nd position on the ranking list. The dates that India are about to compete in Group E are scheduled with home and away format.
Qualification Schedule for India:
India vs Oman : September 5, 2019 (Home)
Qatar vs India : September 10, 2019 (Away)
India vs Bangladesh : October 15, 2019 (Home)
Afghanistan vs India : November 14, 2019 (Away)
Oman vs India : 19 November, 2019 (Away)
India vs Qatar : March 26, 2020 (Home)
Bangladesh vs India : June 4, 2020 (Away)
India vs Afghanistan : June 9, 2020 (Home)
The national side have somehow found it hard in previous editions to give a prominent performance in the qualifiers. The qualification is a longer process, which comprises, 8 Groups each consisting of 5 teams, in round-robin format, and the top position holders of each group will advance to Round 3, along with 4 other best group runner-up to continue in Round 3. The 12 teams selected from 8 groups, will be divided in 2 groups, in round-robin format again, and the two teams finishing at the top directly qualifies the FIFA World Cup. The winner holding the third position will have a chance to participate in the inter-confederation play-offs.
Igor Stimac’s dream India involves certain key players like, Sunil Chettri and Sahal Abdul Samad. The entire Indian Squad includes:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh
Defenders: Rahul Bheke, Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Narender Gahlot, Adil Khan, Subhasish Bose, Mandar Rao Dessai
Midfielders: Nikhil Poojary, Udanta Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul Samad, Rowllin Borges, Brandon Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan
Forwards: Balwant Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh