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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Anwar Ali and Jeakson Singh return to India's squad for FIFA World Cup qualifiers

India play the away match against Afghanistan on March 21 in Abha, Saudi Arabia, while their home game will be held in Guwahati on March 26

PTI New Delhi Published 07.03.24, 03:04 PM
Indian Football head coach Igor Stimac

Indian Football head coach Igor Stimac File photo

Central defender Anwar Ali and defensive midfielder Jeakson Singh, who were left out of India's Asian Cup squad due to injuries, were on Thursday named among 35 probables for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying round 2 matches against Afghanistan later this month.

India play the away match against Afghanistan on March 21 in Abha, Saudi Arabia, while their home game will be held in Guwahati on March 26.

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Home matches of Afghanistan are being held outside the war-torn country.

Mohun Bagan Super Giants player, Ali was out of action for a considerable period of time last year due to an ankle injury that also saw him miss the Asian Cup in January this year. He also suffered a minute injury in an ISL match early last month.

Jeakson underwent a left shoulder surgery in November last year.

Both the players have returned to action since then for their respective Indian Super League teams.

Key winger Ashique Kuruniyan is yet to recover fully after he sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in September last year and so was not named among the probables.

India are hoping to make it to the round 3 of FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the first time in their history.

Head coach Igor Stimac had promised after India's Asian Cup debacle that he would lead the country to its maiden third round of the FIFA World Cup qualification.

India are placed in Group A in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification round along side Qatar, Kuwait and Afghanistan. The top two teams from the group will progress to the third round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Blue Tigers have never advanced to the third round of AFC's FIFA World Cup qualifiers but they are now in with a chance after beating Kuwait 1-0 in Kuwait City in November last year. The Probables: Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Phurba Tempa Lachenpa, Vishal Kaith.

Defenders: Akash Mishra, Lalchungnunga, Mehtab Singh, Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Nikhil Chandrashekhar Poojary, Subhasish Bose, Narender, Anwar Ali, Roshan Singh Naorem, Amey Ganesh Ranawade, Jay Gupta.

Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Mahesh Singh Naorem, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Deepak Tangri, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Lalengmawia Ralte, Imran Khan.

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Ishan Pandita, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Manvir Singh, Vikram Partap Singh, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Nandhakumar Sekar, Isak Vanlalruatfela.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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