India vs Jordan Preview: Blue Tigers set to gauge strengths and weaknesses in their last friendly ahead of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers
India will face Jordan in a friendly match at the Qatar Sports Club, in Doha, on Saturday evening, as a part of preparations for the upcoming 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, which begins on June 8.
The Blue Tigers have been pitted alongside Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia in Group D of the third round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. With the matches to be played at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata, India are outright favourites to top the group and qualify for the showpiece event.
The match against Jordan will be the last match before the qualifiers and head coach Igor Stimac would be eager to make the most out of it.
India - WWWLL
The Blue Tigers have won three and lost two of their last five matches. However, their last win dates back to October, 2021, when they defeated Nepal to clinch the SAFF Championship. Since then, Igor Stimac’s side has lost to Bahrain and Belarus in consecutive matches.
Jordan - DWDLW
Jordan have won two, lost once and shared the spoils in the remaining of the last five matches. Their last match was against New Zealand in January, earlier this year, having scripted a convincing 3-1 win in the same.
Head to Head
The last meeting between these two nations was back in 2018, with Jordan edging past their Asian rivals with a 2-1 win.
The talismanic forward is likely to make a comeback for the Blue Tigers in the weekend kick-off. Chhetri, even at such a ripe age, will be the main marksman for the Indian side in the final third. In the 2021 SAFF Championships, he netted five times in as many matches including a strike in the final against Nepal, to help India claim the title.
The youngster was regular in the playing XI for the past one year and has been delivering the goods. Even in their last game, the forward scored a brace and guided Jordan to a comfortable win over New Zealand. The Indian defenders have their task cut-out to negate Olwan’s swift moves on Saturday evening.
Sandesh Jhingan vs Ali Olwan
The Jordanian forward has been in fine form recently, and also signed up for Qatari side Al-Shamal for his exploits. With three strikes in the last two matches, his side will be heavily dependent on him for scoring goals. On the flip side, Sandesh Jhingan, India’s most decorated centre-back in the past decade, will be responsible for keeping Olwan under check and nullify any possible goal-scoring opportunities. It would be a treat to witness the contest between these two exciting footballers.
Noor Al-Rawabdeh vs Anirudh Thapa
Aniruh Thapa will pull the strings for the Indian team from the central midfield position, but he will be facing some serious resistance from his counterpart - Noor Al-Rawabdeh. The 25-year old playmaker is a pivotal figure in the setup, having orchestrated quite a few victories for the national side since making his debut in 2019. Thapa, on the other hand, cannot let Al-Rawabdeh play his natural game, or else the match might easily slip away from India.
Fixture: India vs Jordan
Date: May 28, 2022
Time: 9:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Qatar Sports Club, Doha
Telecast: Indian Football Team Facebook Page