India shifts focus to match against Bangladesh after loss to Qatar

India will face Bangladesh in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 preliminary joint round qualification round on Monday.

After a decent performance against Qatar, India will be the favourite to win against lower ranked Bangladesh on June 7.   -  AIFF media

After a 1-0 loss against Qatar in the much-anticipated clash, India will now shift its focus to Bangladesh. The neigbours will take on each other on Monday (June 7) in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 preliminary joint round qualification round.

Both teams have had mixed results so far. While Bangladesh came back from behind to hold Afghanistan 1-1 and earn a point, India fought valiantly with 10 men against Asian champion Qatar but returned empty handed.

MATCH REPORT: 10-man India loses 0-1 to Qatar in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier

India is already out of reckoning for next round of World Cup qualifiers, but has its sights set on the Asian Cup 2023 in China. “We are moving as a team and we need to back each other. We are aware that we have specific roles in the team. The next match is extremely crucial as we need to sustain the momentum gained in the first match. The first match is history,” Indian midfielder Brandon Fernandes said.

Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan, who has played for Mohammedan Sporting in the Hero I-League, expects ‘an intense match’ against India.

“It will be intense – with a lot of battles. It’s a beautiful match to be a part of. Last time in Kolkata, we were disappointed not to get the 3 points as India scored very late in the game. We have that hunger in us, and we know we can do some damage,” he said.

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“The confidence in our team is good at the moment. We had our chances to win against Afghanistan. We take that confidence with us into the India game,” Jamal said.

Bangladesh coach Jamie Day, spoke about the difference in the ranking between the two teams. “India are a very good team. They are a much higher-ranked team than us who should be beating the likes of Bangladesh. The difference in ranking and quality is huge. In Kolkata, we did play very well. I look back and feel that India had an off-day on that night at the majestic YBK,” he said.

“You look at India’s last match against Qatar – with 10-men they fought like warriors and lost 0-1. It only depicts the quality in their side. We are looking forward to the game. We are aware that we need to play to our maximum, and hope India have another off-day.”

Defender Subhashish Bose, however, was quick to point out that the rankings don’t matter once you take the field. “We are aware of the quality of the Bangladesh team. They are a side that plays a lot of counter-attack football, and that is very dangerous. India versus Bangladesh have always been exciting and close matches. We have huge respect for Bangladesh,” Bose said.

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