All You Need To Know About The Opening Match of Inaugural Intercontinental Cup Between India and Chinese Taipei
The Indian National Team is back into acCuption as the inaugural edition of the Intercontinental Cup is set to kick-off on Friday, in which the host nation India takes on Chinese Taipei in the opening game. For the Blue Tigers, this is a preparatory tournament ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup according to their British gaffer Stephen Constantine while for Chinese Taipei, it’s a stage to prove themselves.
● Squad Analysis :
○ India :
The 13-Match unbeaten run of team India had come to an end in the last AFC Asian Cup qualification match where the ‘Blue Tigers’ had lost to the ‘White Falcons’. After the selection of probable 28-Men Squad for the preparatory camp ahead of the Intercontinental Cup, Constantine had broken the silence of not giving some young players chance into the National team who played well in I-League and ISL, “I think we have to give young players the chance, the opportunity. But right time, right moment, right game, right opponent. You can’t just throw the kids there,” he asserted. Gurpreet will be the shot-stopper for the entire tournament as his experience is the key. The second choice of goalie will be Amrinder Singh. In the Centre Back position Jhingan and Edathodika will take care, this two were the walls in the AFC Asian Cup Qualification for India to concede less number of goals in the tournament. In the Fullback positions, it is better to start with Jerry and Lalruatthara. In the middle of the park, Bengaluru FC winger Udanta Singh and NEUFC’s Rowlin Borges will take charge whereas the Centre Midfield will be under the control of Rafique and Narzary. In the attacking end the skipper Chhetri, who is set to play his 100th match for country will be the influential presence and along with him will be the ‘Mizo Sniper’ Jeje Lalpekhlua.
○ Chinese Taipei :
After the failure of Chinese Taipei to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, The Chinese Taipei Football Association had appointed English Manager Gary White to take care of the team. His appointment saw an immediate change. The team has beaten Bahrain 2-1 and Mongolia by a scoreline of 4-2. Currently, his winning percentage is 86% and the team had moved to the 121st position in FIFA Rankings. Under his guidance, the team also were crowned the 2017 CTFA International Tournament champions. For the Intercontinental Cup, the team is coming with a young squad, a squad with average age of 26. Only 2 players have played more than 25 matches for Chinese Taipei. 8 uncapped players have been added in the squad for this tournament, the Gaffer White has expressed his thoughts and future of Taiwan football as “Our goals include breaking into the FIFA top 100, qualifying for a major tournament and creating more professional football markets in Asia in order to place more of our immensely talented players”.
● Probable Line-Ups :
○ India(4-4-2) :
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu;
Lalruatthara, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Jerry Lalrinzuala;
Rowling Borges, Halicharan Narzary, Md. Rafique, Udanta Singh;
Sunil Chhetri(C), Jeje Lalpekhlua.
○ Chinese Taipei(4-4-2) :
Chen Ting-yang, Chen wei-Chuan, Hung Tzu-Kuei, Cheng Hao;
Lin chang-lun, Chen chao-an, Chen yi-wei, Wang Ruei;
Chen Hao-wei, Li Mao.
● Recent Form :
○ India( Last 5Matches): D W W W L
○ Chinese Taipei(Last 5 Matches): L W W W W
● Head to Head :
○Chinese Taipei: 0
● Writer’s Take :
The host nation India is in a mindset to start the tournament with a win but Chinese Taipei will be fighting hard to destroy it. Chhetri was the only player in the team when India played against Chinese Taipei last time back i in 2011. Under the new Coach, Chinese Taipei has become more strong and can well become the ‘Darkhorse’ of the competition. The match could end in a draw or with India edging past Chinese Taipei by a two goal margin. But with the only country coming with the first team in this tournament, India should well and truly seal the deal.
● Match Details :
○Date & Time: 01-06-2018 & 08:00 PM (IST)
○Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai
○Television Broadcast: Star Sports Network
○Online Streaming: Hotstar