In what will be its first piece of international action since FIFA lifted the suspension on the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Indian men’s football team will play Vietnam and Singapore in the Hung Thinh friendly football tournament in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Veteran striker Sunil Chhetri, India’s leading goal-scorer in men’s international football, will lead the 23-man Indian team in both matches.
Hosts Vietnam are the highest-ranked team in the tournament at 97th, seven places above India in 104th. Singapore is ranked 159th.
India’s head coach Igor Stimac admitted that Vietnam would begin as favourites but was also confident of the Indian team’s chances in the tournament.
“Obviously, Vietnam have a lot of momentum with their performances in the last couple of years. They have a good team, and are playing at home, which is why they are probably the favourites, but we also have a good chance as we have a young squad,” Igor Stimac told the AIFF.
“I think we have enough quality to match them, and if we stay positive and play with a good mindset, we can do it. It’s a good challenge for us, though we need to make sure that we combine and rotate our players in a proper way. We need to make sure that nobody gets injured,” Stimac added.
The Indian men’s football team was last seen in action at the AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers back in June and are currently on a three-match winning streak, having beaten Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.
Defender Rahul Bheke, midfielder Suresh Singh and reserve goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani have been left out of the squad due to injuries.
Indian football team’s full schedule at Hung Thinh friendly tournament
All times are in Indian Standard Time (IST)
Saturday, September 24: India vs Singapore - 5:30 PM IST
Tuesday, September 27: India vs Vietnam - 5:30 PM IST
Where to watch Indian football team at Hung Thinh friendly tournament live in India
Matches of the Hung Thinh friendly tournament, including India vs Singapore and India vs Vietnam, will be broadcast on the Eurosport and Eurosport HD TV channels in India.
Live streaming will be on the discovery+ app and website.
Indian football squad for Hung Thinh friendly tournament
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem and Amrinder Singh
Defenders: Sandesh Jhingan, Roshan Singh Naorem, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra, Chinglensana Singh Konsham, Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Narender
Midfielders: Liston Colaco, Muhammed Ashique Kuruniyan, Deepak Tangri, Udanta Singh Kumam, Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Yasir Mohammad, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Sahal Abdul Samad, Rahul Kannoly Praveen and Lallianzuala Chhangte
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri and Ishan Pandita