India will take on Nepal in an international football friendly match ahead of their crucial AFC Asian Cup qualifying game against Kyrgyzstan at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai….reports Asian Lite News
Getting valuable game-time together ahead of the all-important Kyrgyzstan encounter on June 13 would be on India’s minds when they play out against Nepal.
India had scheduled their friendly against Lebanon but later changed the opponents as AIFF received the information confirming the absence of Lebanon citing visa issues.
India have not played together for 11 weeks but form is firmly with Stephen Constantine’s men after registering victories in 11 of their last 13 outings.
Added to this, India have maintained their 20-year-high FIFA ranking of 100 with Mohun Bagan striker Jeje Lalpekhlua and the ever-dependable skipper Sunil Chhetri chipping in with important goals.
Norwegian club Stabaek FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has also been a strong influence.
India last played an international — against Myanmar — on March 28, a match remembered for Chhetri’s brilliant late winner.
India will miss the services of Bengaluru FC winger Udanta Singh, who is injured but Bengaluru FC striker C.K. Vineeth’s form will be a boost.
The Kerala marksman scored a brace coming off the bench in the Federation Cup final against Bagan.
As for Nepal, who are 69 places below India in the rankings, the lowly outfit will depend on 19-year-old Bimal Gharti Magar and Nawayug Shrestha to deliver the goods. Nepal are a young side under new Japanese coach Koji Gyotoku.
The two sides last locked horns in the SAFF Championship in Trivandrum in December 2015 when goals from Rowllin Borges, Chhetri and a brace from Lallianzuala Chhangte helped India script a 4-1 win.
India are playing Nepal as a replacement for Lebanon, who pulled out of a friendly at the last moment citing visa issues.