Updated on May 21, 2019 16:58:43



India will face tough challenge at 2019 Asian Cup : Sunil Chhetri

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5 Dariya News

Gurugram , 06 May 2018

With India back in the AFC Asian Cup after a gap of eight years, captain Sunil Chhetri believes his side will face a tough challenge in the league stage of the tournament which starts on January 5 next year.India, who are clubbed in Group A alongside hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and South-East Asian giants Thailand, will make their fourth appearance in the Asian Cup.After finishing as runners-up in 1964, India was ousted from the group stages in the 1984 and 2011 editions of the tournament and have finally made it to the continental competition after eight years.Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by Kia Motors to select kids as the official match ball carriers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Chhetri said: "We will try to get as many points from the first game and will then think about the second game."Indian football has witnessed an upsurge over the last couple of years. They are currently ranked 15th in Asia and had recently broken into the top 100 in the world rankings after a long gap thanks to a 13-match unbeaten streak.Chhetri however, warned that despite their recent good form, it will be an uphill task for his boys in the group stage of the competition.India will kick-off their AFC Asian Cup campaign on January 6 against Thailand and Chhetri felt that the south-east Asian nation may prove to be a stern test for the Indians."If people think it will be easier as we are doing well, it is a valid point. But do not be mistaken that it is just Thailand, Bahrain and UAE. Just because we will not meet Australia and South Korea again, it will not be easy," Chhetri expressed.





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