Nine Hero ISL players in India under-23 Asian Games squad
Nine players who will figure in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), have been named in the 20-member Indian under-23 squad which will take part in the Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea, beginning later this week.
The participation of both the men’s and women’s football squads was confirmed yesterday by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. Both squads are currently in Shanghai as part of a preparatory tour prior to the Games.
The ISL players in the squad are defenders Pritam Kotal (FC Pune City), Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters FC) and Narayan Das (FC Goa), midfielders Pronay Halder (FC Goa), Lalrindika Ralte (Mumbai City FC) and Milan Singh (NorthEast United FC) and forwards Seiminlen Doungel (NorthEast United FC), Mandar Rao Desai (FC Goa) and Francis Fernandes (Delhi Dynamos FC), who is one of the three senior players in the team. The other two seniors are strikers Sunil Chhetri and Robin Singh.
Coached by Dutchman Wim Koevermans, the men’s team have a tough task ahead of them as they take on the previous Games’ silver medallists United Arab Emirates on September 15 in their first group league match, followed by a fixture against Jordan on September 22. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the first knockout round.
India have won the Asian Games title twice, once in 1951 in the inaugural edition in New Delhi, and the second in Jakarta in 1962. They also picked up a bronze in 1970 at Bangkok and finished fourth at Tokyo in 1958.