Lalengmawia, Suresh Singh headline India’s squad for AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers as Stimac seeks balance

Indian national team regulars Lalengmawia Ralte and Suresh Singh Wangjam were among the five members of the Blue Tigers’ victorious South Asian Football Championship (SAFF) squad who made the cut as Igor Stimac announced his 23-member squad for the upcoming AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday evening.

India have been pitted alongside Oman, hosts UAE and Kyrgyz Republic in Group E of the Qualifiers with all their matches set to be played at the Fujairah Stadium, United Arab Emirates. They will begin their campaign against Oman on 24th October before facing UAE three days later, followed by the final fixture against Kyrgyz Republic on 30th October.

Jeakson Singh, Rahim Ali and Dheeraj Singh, also a part of India’s triumphant SAFF Championship squad, have also been included alongside the likes of Akash Mishra, Amrajit Singh, and Narender Gahlot – all who have all played under Stimac in the past.

Stimac stressed he needed to strike the right balance as India embarked on their journey for the Qualifiers.

“Every country has talented youngsters, and U-23 players who are already playing at the senior level for their respective countries, and so do we. But we need to find the balance in this team,” Stimac said.

“The good thing for us is that we already had a number of players from this bunch of players here who have been a part of the National Team, and are aware of what kind of weather is to be expected, and also the expectations from the fans. Our aim is always the same – to go out and win every game. But it will depend on the approach we take depending on information about the strength of our opposition.”

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Mohammad Nawaz.

Defenders: Narender Gahlot, Alex Saji, Hormipam Ruivah, Asish Rai, Sumit Rathi, Akash Mishra.

Midfielders: Suresh Singh, Amarjit Singh, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Deepak Tangri, Rahul KP, Komal Thatal, Nikhil Raj, Bryce Miranda, Princeton Rebello.

Forwards: Vikram Partap Singh, Rahim Ali, Rohit Danu, Aniket Jadhav.

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