regular-article-logo Thursday, 01 June 2023

Tired legs a worry for Igor Stimac

Sunil Chhetri-led team will play Myanmar on Wednesday and Kyrgyzstan on March 28 at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal

Angshuman Roy Calcutta Published 20.03.23, 06:07 AM
Igor Stimac.

Igor Stimac. AIFF

India’s national team football coach Igor Stimac has his task cut out.

He has to prepare a team for the tri-nation tournament, which begins in Imphal on Wednesday, with just one training session where he will have the full squad at his disposal.


The Sunil Chhetri-led team will play Myanmar on Wednesday and Kyrgyzstan on March 28 at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal. The national team is having a camp at the All India Football Federation’s National Centre of Excellence in Rajarhat since last Thursday.

The ISL final was played on Saturday and the India squad have a handful of players from ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC. Both Bagan and Bengaluru players will be joining the camp on Monday after playing two 120-minute matches — the second leg of their respective semi-finals and the final.

In the 23-man squad announced last week, there were seven from Bengaluru and two from Bagan.

Now after Bengaluru’s Sivasakthi Narayanan had a facial injury and Glan Martins (Bagan) pulled a hamstring, Stimac was forced to bring in East Bengal’s Naorem Mahesh Singh and Bagan captain Pritam Kotal.

“We are not yet a footballing nation like Japan, South Korea or Australia where players gell into the national team seamlessly,” Stimac, 55, said during a media interaction on Sunday.

“For me, the shortage of time to prepare the national team is not good. Now we have half of the team empty — physically and mentally,” Stimac rued. “We are now at risk of injuries. It’s a very difficult situation for us,” he added.

Atletico stay unbeaten

Madrid: Atletico Madrid secured their third consecutive La Liga win with a 3-0 home victory against Valencia on Saturday, as goals from Antoine Griezmann, Yannick Carrasco and Thomas Lemar extended their unbeaten run in the Spanish league to 10 games.

Griezmann put Atletico ahead early with a close-range strike, Carrasco extended their advantage right after the break and Lemar wrapped it up in the 67th minute.

Zlatan’s feat AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the oldest goalscorer in Serie A history during their 1-3 loss at Udinese on Saturday. Ibrahimovic converted four minutes into the first-half stoppage time, to become the oldest goalscorer at 41 years and 166 days.

Borussia Dortmund climbed to the top of the Bundesliga standings after demolishing visitors Cologne 6-1.


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