Injured Rahul Bheke to miss Bangladesh tie
Defender Rahul Bheke has been ruled out of India's upcoming joint FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 2nd round Qualifiers match against Bangladesh. The Bengaluru FC man reportedly sustained an injury, which will sideline him for the match to be played in Kolkata on October 15.
Owing to an injury, @RahulBheke will not be able to join the #BlueTigers ' 🐯 preparatory camp 😢 before @FIFAWorldCup qualifier against Bangladesh 🇧🇩.— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 2, 2019
We wish him a speedy recovery 👍🏻#BackTheBlue 💙 #IndianFootball ⚽ pic.twitter.com/A5EFcFJLa1
The Mumbai-born defender was part of the 29-man squad chosen by head coach Igor Stimac for the preparatory camp ahead of the match.
Bheke's loss will be a big blow for the Blue Tigers, especially with the 28-year-old steadily growing into his role in the Indian side ever since making his national team debut at the 2019 King's Cup in Thailand back in June.
To recall, India lost their first match of the Qualifiers against Oman after conceding two late goals, but managed a brilliant result in the second match, holding reigning AFC Asian Cup champions Qatar to a goalless draw in Doha. Bheke played as the right back in the match against Qatar and helped the team shut out their illustrious Asian opponents.
The Blue Tigers will be desperate to follow it up with a win against neighbours Bangladesh to give them a fighting chance in Group E. As it currently stands, India are fourth in Group E with one point from two outings, while Bangladesh are fifth with no points from their solitary fixture so far. They lost their opening match against Afghanistan 1-0.