(Image courtesy: AIFF media twitter handle)

Tough test for India at 2018 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers

India U-23 team face stern test ahead of AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers 2017.
India is placed in group C with heavy weights like Syria, host country Qatar and Turkmenistan. In the opener, India faces Syria on 19th July.When India U-23 met Syria U-23 in the AFC U-23 Olympic Qualifiers in March 2015, India was thrashed 4-0. India would be looking for a revenge against the Syrian side this Friday.
India U-23 and Qatar U-23 sides have never locked horns but India U-23side won 4-1 against Turkmenistan U-23 side back in 2012. 
India won one game and lost one game against Singapore in recently played International friendly series.Then on 21st July India take on the host Qatar and then the last group match against Turkmenistan on 23rd.
Steven Constantine has picked the squad where I-League regulars are missing, but the team looks pretty much decent.The India Under-23s kicked-off their practice under Head Coach Stephen Constantine at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, commonly known as Qatar Sports Club in Doha today, July 16.
The Stadium has an Indian Connection as Bengaluru FC their AFC cup final against the Air Force Club Iraq which they lost 1-0.India plays their first match against Syria at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on July 19, 2017, from 7:30 pm IST onwards.

Players To Watch Out

Lallianzuala Changthe is one of the few players who has played for the senior Indian team. The winger had made history last year by becoming the youngest goal scorer for the senior national team. Ever since the day he has been finding himself on the sidelines of the national team. A stellar performance in Qatar will come handy for the youngster.

Vishal Kaith is one of the best goal keepers in the country, the youngster was regular to feature for the Shillong Lajong FC, the keeper at such young age showed great composure under the sticks.

Daniel Lalhlimpuia is highly rated in India, the striker has been billed as the successor for Sunil Chettri in Indian senior team. It’s time the forward start to perform for the team, he has found wanting when it comes to finishing the chances and the qualifiers will provide the stern test for him. Playing against strong west Asian defenders will be difficult. 

India has never qualified for the AFC U-23 Championships in the past

Iraq head coach Hakeem Shakir Flayyih Al Azzawi had all praises for Indian batch of 2013 AFC U-22 Championship Qualification comprising of Gurpreet Sandhu, Narayan Das, Jeje, Lalrindka Ralte etc. under FC Goa Assitant manager Arthur Papas. 

The team back then played fluid and switched formation from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 with ease. It will be interesting to see if current Indian u23 batch able to match the level set by Arthur Papas boys and get praise from an opponent manager.

Current 23-men squad for the U-23 qualifiers 2018


Vishal Kaith, Kamaljit Singh, Sukhadev Patil


Salam Ranjan Singh, Lalruatthara, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Davinder Singh, Nishu Kumar, Sairuathkima, Sarthak Golui, Kamalpreet Singh Grewal


Anirudh Thapa, Nikhil Poojari, Nandha Kumar, Germanpreet Singh, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Vinit Rai, Robinson Singh, Lallianzuala Changthe


Hitesh Sharma, Alen Deory, Manvir Singh, Daniel Lalhlimpuia


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