Ten Indian players ended up being handed debuts in the side’s bygone tie
Although the Indian football team still has a gruelling and tedious road to rummage before it can be considered a serious opposition, the side is taking strides in the right direction at the moment.
The advent of the Indian Super League has given local players a platform to showcase their mettle and with it prove their credentials for a shot in the national time. And current coach, Igor Stimac has been all too willing to try out these starlets with as many as 18 players making their debuts under his tutelage.
Ten of those alone featured for the country in the side’s bygone appearance. The country’s 1-1 draw against Oman saw Akash Mishra, Ashutosh Mehta, Chinglensana Singh, Suresh Wangjam, Bipin Singh, Jeakson Singh, Lalengmawia, Mohammed Yasir, Ishan Pandita and Mashoor Shereef all being handed their first appearance for the country.
Six of these names were included in the side’s playing 11 whilst four were handed opportunities as substitutes.
Speaking to AIFF TV following the match, head coach Igor Stimac talked about the result and the players who had played their maiden tie.
“One good thing about the match was the result. To be honest, I was more than worried after the first 45 minutes because we couldn’t find a way to hold the ball, we couldn’t find a player except for Suresh, who was the youngest one, to take the responsibility to try and pass the ball the way we were doing in training. But Oman used this little wind in the first half,” Igor said.
“We didn’t do two basic things which I had asked them to do. We didn’t put pressure on the players with the ball in our half and we didn’t stay too far from their players when they were creating on their build-up and that created a lot of problems. They were rising up in confidence, we were very low with confidence. I told them one thing. The result is something that I need to care about, not you. You need to come out and play without fear.”
“In the second half, we showed that we have nothing to fear about. Of course, these are better sides because when you get into the top 100, the difference of 25 to 30 spots is a big difference.
“It was not easy after they put pressure on our back four, to kick the ball out and get out of your own half. But the whole team reacted well in the second half, they did their best, they tried everything. We had some good transitions which I was looking for,” The Croat added.
Players Handed Maiden Matches By Igor
With India set to play their second FIFA friendly on March 29, the side could see further new inclusions. We take a look at all the 18 names to have debuted under Stimac.
- Sahal Abdul Samad
- Brandon Fernandes
- Rahul Bheke
- Amarjit Singh
- Raynier Fernandes
- Michael Soosairaj
- Narender Gahlot
- Jobby Justin
- Ashutosh Mehta
- Akash Mishra
- Suresh Wangjam
- Bipin Singh
- Jeakson Singh
- Chinglensana Singh
- Mohammed Yasir
- Ishan Pandita
- Lalengmawia Ralte
- Mashoor Shereef