The results of the two international friendly matches in Dubai will not affect the qualifications for the World Cup in 2022 and the Asian Cup in 2023, said members of the Indian football team as they prepare for the upcoming matches at a training camp in Doha
Returning to action after a long hiatus of COVID-19, India had held Oman at a 1-1 draw, but suffered a 0-6 loss to the UAE in two international friendly matches in March.
“The less we think about it, the better. It’s over. But it’s important to remember what happened because it makes us understand the part we need to work on,” said India star goalkeeper Gurprit Singh. Sandhu in a statement issued by the AIFF.
“We have three blank sheets in front of us. It’s up to us what we have to write on them.”
The national team for adults will take over the Asian champion Qatar in the first match on June 3. The other two matches are against Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15).
“The outlook for Dubai and Doha is completely different. In Dubai, we played two different teams in both games. It was our return to international football after almost 16 months,” said defender Pritam Kotal.
“Both games allowed us to hit all the negatives. June will definitely be better.”
The Blue Tigers landed in Doha on May 19 and were quarantined at the team’s hotel until they received the results of the RTPCR tests conducted on arrival.
The friendly against Oman saw India make its debut for 10 players, and Anirud Tapa described the goalless draw as a “huge result for Indian football”.
“We had a huge positive impact against Oman – and that with 10 debutants. I always look at the positives and that was a huge result for Indian football for me.
“We will have the full squad at our disposal in the qualifiers. The results from Dubai will have absolutely no impact in Doha.”
The qualifiers are played in Doha in view of COVID’s pandemic situation, which does not allow the original format of home and away matches.
The Indian team, fourth in Group E with three points, is already out of competition for a place in the World Cup, but is still counting on the 2023 Asian Cup in China.