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Indian National Team lands in Ashgabat for World Cup qualifier

Indian National Team
Indian National Team

Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

The Indian National Team squad landed in Ashgabat on Monday evening (October 5) for the first of their away FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 match against Turkmenistan scheduled for October 8, 2015. The second away match is scheduled to be played in Muscat against Oman on October 13.

All the boys had earlier assembled at the Team Hotel in Mumbai on Sunday (October 4). The contingent left the Team Hotel past midnight and had a six hour transit in Dubai. The travel time from the time of departure from the Hotel in Mumbai to the check-in at the Team Hotel in Ashgabat took over 16 hours.

National Coach Stephen Constantine mentioned that it’s “pleasing to be back with the boys.”

“We have a group of young players who will make the country proud in the future. This is what we are trying to build, a team for the future,” he told AIFF Media.

“The atmosphere in the camp is so positive and we look to gain something form the next two games,” he added.

The Indian team will be having a practice session each on October 6 and 7 prior to the crucial match against Turkmenistan.

‘Spiderman’ Subrata Paul insisted that the team needs to “make the most of the two practice sessions.”

“It’s a very crucial match for us against Turkmenistan and we need to acclimatize and gel together as fast as we can. Travelling to a different environment and time zones always has a toll. But as there’s very less time, we need to be extra cautious,” he mentioned to the Indian National Team’s official Facebook page.

“The next two matches are immensely significant for the future of Indian football as we are yet to garner a point,” he stated.

Sunil Chhetri, who had captained India in the last match against Iran said the team is “looking forward.”

“We want to take forward our good performance against Iran but we intend to change the result as we expect to open our account. Thankfully there are no injuries in the team but we will certainly miss Dhanpal (Ganesh),” he stated to AIFF’s official Twitter handle.

Defender Sandesh Jhingan admitted that everyone stays aware of the “gravity” of the situation.

“We know and understand the gravity of the two forthcoming games. We aim to have a positive result and I feel that acquiring the first point always stays difficult. But once you do it, it becomes easier, and there’s no reason why we can’t,” he opined.

Meanwhile, Robin Singh admitted that it “feels good to be back in the national camp.”

“It’s such a wonderful feeling to be back with the boys. We are looking forward to the two matches. Both are immensely important and we stay aware of the challenges involved,” he told.

“We know that we would be playing two away matches but at the moment, we are taking one match at a time.”

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)