Igor Stimac confident India can compete against any team outside Asia’s top 8

Indian football team coach Igor Stimac believes that his team is perfectly capable of competing against any country outside the top eight in Asia.

The Blue Tigers qualified for the AFC Asian Cup with three wins out of three in their third round of qualifiers against Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Cambodia, scoring eight goals and conceding just one.

Stimac believes that India can perform against the top teams of Asia and can qualify for the round of 16 of the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in history at the tournament next year.

“At the moment, we can play equal games with all those teams who are there from eighth position in Asian ranking to upto the position where we stand,” Stimac told The Times of India during an online interaction.

“I am not saying we can dominate these games, that wouldn’t be true. But we can find a way to win these games,” he added.

Speaking about the AFC Asian Cup plan, Stimac said, “When the Asian Cup happens, we need to make sure that we find a way of going through the group. We can do that. Once that happens, everything is possible. It’s 90 minutes and in football, anything can happen.”

Concluding with his thoughts on why the national team should play in different stadiums across India, Stimac said, “I am also insisting now to have teams come to India. We have had enough travelling around and not having a chance to play 50 percent of the friendly games on home soil. We need to use these games to promote football in the country. We need to visit other states, other locations, and not just where football is already popular.”

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