FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers: Team India leaves for Guam

Team India departs for Guam for WCQ match
Team India departs for Guam from Delhi for their second match of Russia 2018 World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification, Picture Courtesy: www.the-aiff.com

A day after an ‘unlucky’ India went down 1-2 to Oman in the Russia 2018 World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification match, the Men in Blue left on Friday (June 12) for Guam to play for their next match slated for June 16.

The travel to Guam via Delhi and Tokyo involves two flight changes and accumulates to a flying time of almost 16 hours leave aside the waiting time at the Airports. The Indian Team lands in Guam late on Saturday (June 13) afternoon around 5pm.

Nevertheless, the morning after, the ‘new generation India,’ rejuvenated and confident after their gallant display against Oman unanimously stated that they “look forward to the next context.”

Guam are sitting pretty with three points in Group D after their solitary goal victory over Turkmenistan on Thursday (June 11).

The last and the only time India played Guam was in the 2013 AFC Challenge Cup in Yangon where after a barren first half, India had romped home 4-0, courtesy a brace from Sunil Chhetri and a goal each from Clifford Miranda and Jewel Raja.
National Coach Stephen Constantine maintained that “Guam are a good side.”

“There are a very difficult side and are being managed by an English Coach. They have five Players playing in the US with a couple playing in the MLS. So for all who have been rubbishing Guam, you need to look at their strength,” he told www.the-aiff.com.

Captain Arnab Mondal mentioned about the gritty show against Oman.

“On the surface, it seemed an uneven contest. But we brought it close. It’s impossible to single out any certain individual. It was a concerted Team effort from our side. That’s the specialty of this Team,” he stated.

“The fight against Oman has added to our confidence. We have a feeling this is the beginning of a turnaround in Indian Football. I foresee this as the beginning of something good,” he added.

After fielding eight debutants in the back to back Preliminary Round 1 matches against Nepal, Constantine had fielded five debutants -- Rino Anto, Dhanachandra Singh, Lalchhuanmawia, Sehnaj Singh and Seityasen Singh – against Oman.

“When has it ever happened in Indian Football that 13 debutants have been fielded in three matches? Mondal quipped. “You balance it with the results, you will find us beating Nepal and going down narrowly to one of the strongest sides in Asia. All of that illustrates that the ‘new generation’ are ready to take on the mantle,” he pronounced.

“Against Oman, three of the back-four were debutants. How many can afford that? And all of us played together for the first time. And I reiterate, we were playing against Oman,” Mondal explained.

Mondal, however, wasn’t willing to shed more light on the next match. “Coach will guide us. We will follow him. I request the fans to support us and be patient. #Backtheblue.”
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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