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AFC Asian Cup Draw
07 May 2018, 12:33 | Marta Robbins
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"You're always looking if they're defensively sound". However, we have to study the opponents very carefully.
The runners-up in the richest-ever Asian Cup will pocket $3 million while all 24 teams taking part will be awarded $200,000 for merely qualifying. The Stephen Constantine-coached side won just two matches out of 10 World Cup qualifiers. But going forward, they have probably one of the best attacking trios I've seen in [Ahmed] Khalil, Ali Mabkhout and Omar [Abdulrahman]. "Right now we are far but it's moving in the right direction", Chhetri explained.
India were clubbed with hosts United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Bahrain in Group A of the AFC Asian Cup, the draw for which was held at the iconic Burj Khalifa. The last time India qualified for the Asian Cup was in 2011, when Chhetri was a youngster and this time around, he is the one who has to guide the team. "And another time we got Iran, along with Uzbekistan and DPR Korea for the second time", said Chhetri. I would say everything would depend on our own team.
"The other three teams in the group have a higher Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking than Thailand, but we are ready to play against every team in the group".
Chhetri, India's all-time leading scorer, will be the lynchpin of the team. We know whichever team we face, it's going to be hard. "Obviously it will not be easy but I think there are possibilities to qualify from this group". We would also have to adjust our own style of play. He believes that the sheer number of quality coaches in the ISL and I-League have helped the players.
"We actually had four dummy draws before the actual thing".
The Bengaluru FC captain is the poster boy of Indian football and he has inspired tons of kids of take up the sport. Chhetri was happy to talk to them and advice them but when asked, how the kids can be like him, he said they should aspire to be even better.
The prolific striker's remarks make sense as India has done badly against the continent's top opponents away from home during the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign, which preceded the Asian Cup qualification rounds.
Shaikh Salman said: "Since 1956 we have had the same trophy and in keeping with the new and exciting future of the competition, the AFC made a decision to commission a new trophy, one that captures the excitement and drama of the tournament ahead". KIA is providing a massive opportunity. In the 1984 edition, India crashed out at the group stage with one draw and three losses.
THE Philippine Azkals will have a tall mountain to scale in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after being grouped with South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan in the draw on Friday evening in Dubai.
"I was part of the National Team in 2011 in Doha where we last played in the Continental Championship". But I don't give too much importance to Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings.
Bahrain coach Miroslav Soukup said: "What can I say, we have a very interesting group".
"What I'm really anxious about and looking forward to is winning games for our country, winning games outside our country".
The War Elephants' best result in the Asian Cup was recorded in 1972, when they finished third. Away, we have really struggled.
"I hope that we keep using all the global windows available in the year".
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