Team India will be disappointed with their performances so far at the SAFF Championship 2021 but the Igor Stimac coached team still remains in contention to qualify for the finals of the tournament. The 107th ranked team in the world hasn’t had the best of times in front of the goal but with them recording their first win last time around, the Blue Tigers will hope to build on that against the Maldives on Wednesday (October 13). SAFF Championship: Bhaichung the Most 'lethal' Indian Player I've Played With, Says Chhetri.
The Indian team have faced Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal so far at the ongoing SAFF Championships, all of the teams below them in the world rankings, but have struggled to find the back of the net, scoring just twice. Moreover both goals have come from record-scorer Sunil Chhetri, highlighting the side’s over-dependence on their talismanic captain.
With goal-scoring a main issue for the Blue Tigers, they take on Maldives next in a must-win encounter. India are currently placed third in a five-team group and missing out on the finals is a real possibility if Igor Stimac’s men fail to record all three points from this encounter. To put things in perspective, Team India have failed to make it to the finals of the tournament just once in 2003.
The Indian strikers have been struggling in front of the goal and coach Igor Stimac believes that the issue will persist in the future as well. ‘This scoring problem will probably stay with us for a while until we produce a few more good strikers like Sunil Chhetri. We cannot be a team that will depend on just one player,’ the manager said ahead of the clash.
India will enter the match on a positive note following their victory over Nepal in the previous fixture but will face a stern test against the Maldives, who are coming off a two-game winning streak. However, with Maldives needing just to avoid defeat to secure their place in the finals, the onus will be on the Blue Tigers to get the result they desire.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 13, 2021 02:36 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).