The Indian men’s national football team, led by Sunil Chhetri, will go all guns blazing against Saudi Arabia, in the round of 16 match of the 19th Asian Games at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou on Thursday.
Follow the match live here: India vs Saudi Arabia football LIVE Score
Saudi Arabia, the fifth-largest country in Asia and ranked 57 in the FIFA ranking, has always held the upper hand against India, ranked 102, having scored 18 goals in five encounters while India could manage only two.
“This is one of my biggest challenges as the India head coach so far. But I love challenges, I love to face them, and I never shy away from them. It will be no different on Thursday,” India’s head coach Igor Stimac said.
“A few players are suffering from a cold and one from an upset stomach. There are no injuries for tomorrow.”
The last meeting between the two teams in the Asian Games ended in a solitary-goal victory for Saudi Arabia in the 1982 quarterfinals in New Delhi.
“Whatever our track record may be against Saudi Arabia, we are capable of springing surprises,” Stimac added, “I had a meeting with the players and chalked out certain strategies for the Saudi Arabia match. Saudi is a brilliant side and is playing with lots of confidence. They have great individual skills with a lot of talent in them.”
In Hangzhou, India played three matches, losing against China (1-5), winning against Bangladesh (1-0), and settling for a draw against Myanmar (1-1).
These four points earned it a spot in the round of 16, setting the stage for the eagerly anticipated showdown tomorrow against Saudi Arabia. Saudi, on the other hand, won two matches and drew with Iran in Group B.
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