NEW DELHI, 11th November 2018 : With the 30 probables starting to drop into the preparatory Camp in the Capital for the National Team’s forthcoming International Friendly against Jordan, the players in unison stated that the match will be an “invaluable experience” in the road for the team’s preparation for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
The match, the first-ever International Friendly between the two countries is slated to be played in Amman on November 17, 2018.
Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, keenly looking ahead for the match labelled Jordan as a “very strong team.”
“The fact that Jordan are regulars in Asian Cup underlines that the match isn’t going to be easy for us at all. This is going to be a very tough challenge and we need such challenges to better our performances,” he said.
Jordan who lost to World Cup runners-up Croatia 1-2 in their last match have qualified to the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup twice in 2004 and in 2011.
Sandesh Jhingan, who besides captaining India in the last International Friendly against PR China earned huge plaudits for his valiant display on the day, felt that playing against Jordan will provide the team a “better idea” of UAE who are clubbed with India in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
“They are a physical side and a team from the Arabian region whose style of game is quite similar to Bahrain and UAE. It’ll be an added advantage for us closer to the tournament,” Jhingan stated.
Pronay Halder who played a pivotal role in the midfield against PR China recollected his memory of playing against Jordan in the Asian Games Incheon 2014.
“We still remember playing them in the 2014 Asian Games. They have always been tough as opponents. The experience of playing against such respected sides will come handy in the Asian Cup,” he maintained.
“We will be in a better position to assess ourselves after this game. As a team we are more confident now and it helps while facing strong opponents in the bigger stage,” he quipped.
The Indian team coached by Stephen Constantine is scheduled to depart the Indian shores on November 15, 2018 for the match.