Indian U-23 football team to play Qatar in friendly, squad announced

The friendly game against Qatar is a part of India's preparation for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers that will begin on March 22 in Thailand.

The India U-23 squad will have a chance to rub shoulders with members of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup-winning Qatar squad, when the team heads to Doha for a friendly against the host's U-23 side.   -  AIFF Media

The Derrick Pereira-led Indian U-23 football team is set to take on the Qatar U-23 team at Doha's Aspire Academy on March 11. The friendly game is a part of India's preparation for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship Qualifiers that will begin on March 22 in Tashkent.

India has been grouped alongside Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan in Group F. India will begin its campaign against the Uzbeks on March 22, followed by the tie against Tajikistan on March 24.

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A cloud of doubt hangs over the match against Pakistan given the tense relations between the two nations in the aftermath of last month's terror attacks. Reports have suggested that Pakistan has pulled out of the tournament, but there has been no official word from the organisers yet.

Qatar side rich in talent

The Indians could have a chance to rub shoulders with members of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup-winning Qatar squad, including the likes of tournament top scorer Almoez Ali, Bassam Al-Rawi and Akram Afif.

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Commenting on the tie, Pereira said in an earlier interaction: "They are a quality side. I have a feeling that some of the U-23 boys from Qatar will be in their 2022 World Cup squad. It will be a tough challenge which will help us prepare for future assignments.”

The match will be played at 9:30 pm IST. The Indian team will leave for Doha on Friday evening and return on March 13.

Indian U-23 Squad
GOALKEEPERS: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill
DEFENDERS: Narender, Sarthak Golui, Wungngayam Muirang, Mehtab Singh, Anwar Ali, Asish Rai
MIDFIELDERS: Jerry M, L Chhangte, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul, Amarjit Singh, Deepak Tangri, Rohit Kumar, Suresh Singh, Komal Thatal, Boris Singh, Rahul KP
FORWARDS: Liston Colaco, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Rahim Ali, Rohit Danu

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