Defensive duo looking forward to AFC Asian Cup

Indian defensive duo Pritam Kotal and Narayan Das are looking to put up a strong show at AFC Asian Cup to be held in UAE in January 2019.

"The Asian Cup will be a great learning experience for us and it will help us to prepare better for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers," said Pritam Kotal.

Delhi Dynamos, which had its pre-season conditioning camp at the Aspire Academy in Doha, paid a visit to the Legacy Pavilion of the 2022 World Cup host, Qatar.

Maintained by the Supreme Committee for the quadrennial extravaganza, the Pavilion offers visitors a 360 degrees audio-visual experience to all aspects related to Qatar's hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup  and the country's football history.

Defender Narayan Das, visibly impressed with the infrastructure, said: "It is amazing to know about Qatar’s 2022 World Cup hosting plans. I am happy to see that the country is drawing inspiration from its own culture, tradition and people as it prepares for the World Cup."

India, which will start its 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign next year, has set its sight to do well at the 2019 Asian Cup, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates between January and February 2019.

“For Indian football, the Asian Cup is like the FIFA World Cup. A strong performance in Asia’s premier tournament is within our reach now,” Das said.

Delhi Dynamos players during their visit to the Legacy Pavilion in Doha, Qatar.

 

India has been drawn with host UAE, Thailand and Bahrain in Group A and only the top team will qualify for the knockout rounds. Pritam Kotal, Das' defensive partner, said: “The Asian Cup will be a great learning experience for us and it will help us to prepare better for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. UAE and Thailand have top-class attacking talent. We will observe how these players move and improvise our game accordingly.”

Kotal and Das will be seen in action for Delhi Dynamos in the fifth edition of the Indian Super League beginning on September 29. Dynamos will host FC Pune City in its season-opener on October 3.

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