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Sunil Chhetri, Jhingan, Sandhu named in Indian men’s football team for Asian Games 2022

India Senior Men’s team Head Coach Igor Stimac announced a 22-member squad for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, to be held from September 19 to October 7, 2023.

The Blue Tigers have won the gold medal at the Asian Games twice (1951, 1962) and the bronze medal once, in 1970. But its performance in the tournament has declined since.

In its last appearance at the Asian Games, in 2014, it finished at the bottom in the group stage and 26th overall, among 29 participating nations.

In 2023 though, Igor Stimac’s side, the senior Indian National Team, has had a positive start. It has won three titles – Tri-Nations Series, Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championship – so far and has returned to the top 100 of FIFA Rankings after five years.

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According to Asian Games rules, only three players over the age of 23 are allowed in the team, Sandesh Jhingan, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Chhetri taking up those spots. Chhetri and Jhingan are the only players from the last squad that played in the Asian Games, nine years ago.

The India Men’s team is placed alongside hosts China PR, Bangladesh, and Myanmar in Group A. There are 23 teams, who have been divided into six groups. Group A, B, C, E, and F have four teams each while Group D has three teams.

After the draw results, Head coach Igor Stimac said, “It was a very busy, great and exciting day of football for us in India. Now that we know all the opponents in the 19th edition of the Asian Games and the World Cup Qualifiers Group A, we can say clearly that we were successful against all these teams in the recent past.

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“So let’s start planning cautiously. Let’s do everything for our National Team to do well.”

We will face China, the host nation in the Asian Games and we have great youngsters who will do everything possible to go through this group with great success.”

India Squad:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Gurmeet Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem
Defenders: Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Narender Gahlot, Lalchungnunga, Akash Mishra, Roshan Singh, Ashish Rai.
Midfielders: Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Apuia Ralte, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Rahul KP, Naorem Mahesh Singh.
Forwards: Siva Sakthi Narayanan, Rahim Ali, Aniket Jadhav, Vikram Partap Singh, Rohit Danu, Sunil Chhetri.
Head Coach: Igor Stimac.
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