Indian men’s football team will look to inch closer to the Hero Intercontinental Cup final when they face Vanuatu at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday. 

The Blue Tigers beat Mongolia 2-0 in their opening encounter on Friday after Lebanon beat Vanuatu in the tournament opener and the home side will like to make it two wins in two and extend their winning streak on home soil to seven matches.

Igor Stimac’s men are preparing for the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar in January and would be keen to build confidence in the build-up to it. 

Vanuatu will have their task cut out against the in-form hosts as they look to cope better with the gruelling weather conditions at the same time. 

Head-to-head record

India and Vanuatu will face each other for the first time in international football.

Form Guide

India: DLWWW

India are in good shape and have won their last six matches on home soil. They haven’t lost to a lower-ranked team in 16 matches and will start as firm favourites against Vanuatu who are placed 63 places below them in the FIFA charts. The Blue Tigers have conceded just one goal in their last six home games and will be keen to continue their strong home form. 

Vanuatu: LLWLL

Vanuatu have won just one of their last five matches but gave a good account of themselves against Lebanon in their opening match as they made their opponents work hard for the victory. Against India, they will have nothing to lose and will be motivated to show what they are capable of in front of the big home crowd. 

Key Players


Lalianzuala Chhangte: The in-form Indian attacker who won the Hero of the League in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season carried his form in the national colours as he was on the scoresheet against Mongolia. Head coach Stimac heaped praise on him calling him the most exciting young player in India and urged the other members of the team to follow his example. Chhangte who has got a taste of the goals will be crucial for India against Vanuatu as they will rely on his trickery to open up the Vanuatu defence. 

Sahal Abdul Samad: The Kerala Blasters FC midfielder has been criticised for his inconsistency but he has often delivered solid performances in national colours. He has scored twice for India in the last year and is slowly gaining the trust of Stimac. A confident Sahal will be a huge asset to the Indian team and he would now look to add to his goal in the first match when he steps onto the field against Vanuatu. 


Brian Kaltak

Captain of the side, Brian Kaltak is the one of the first names on the teamsheet for the national side. Having begun his football career with semi-professional clubs at the beginning of his career, Kaltak now plies his trade for A-League side Central Coast Mariners. The centre-back capped off an incredible debut season in Australia by recently winning the A-League Championship.

Alex Saniel

Capable of playing anywhere across the front three, Saniel remains one of the key attacking threats for Vanuatu national side. The 26-year-old is one of the few players from the national side that are currently part of clubs outside Vanuatu and plays for Fijian club Suva FC. Saniel was on the scoresheet in the team's recent 2-4 defeat against Auckland City FC in the Oceania Champions League final, where they narrowly missed out on a place in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Match Details

Fixture: Vanuatu vs India

Date: 12 June

Time: 7.30 PM

Venue: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

Telecast: Star Sports 2, Disney + Hotstar, JioTv