Indian youngsters feel Bangladesh match “perfect stage” for first win of WC qualifiers campaign

Striker Manvir Singh, who was impressive in the Indian football team’s goal-less draw against Qatar last month, on Monday said that upcoming World Cup qualifiers match against Bangladesh would be the “perfect stage” to notch up the first win of the campaign.

After the memorable draw against Asian champions Qatar in Doha, an upbeat India take on Bangladesh in their third match of the second round qualifiers on October 15 in Kolkata.

“It’s going to be a perfect stage for us to get our first win in the campaign and we’re eager to achieve that,” Manvir said on the sidelines of the ongoing preparatory camp here, which kicked off on October 3.

“I played in Kolkata for a short stint and was mesmerised seeing the passion amongst the fans about the game. I just can’t wait to go out at the VYBK Stadium on 15th and win it together,” he added.

The Punjab-born striker, who made 80 per cent successful passes against Qatar, was praised by none other than captain Sunil Chhetri who, unfortunately, could not play his part in that match due to an illness.

“I honestly don’t know whether I deserve to be praised like this. Sunil bhai said a lot of good things about me in front of everyone and even he wished me after the game personally. It’s huge for me,” Manvir said.

Nikhil Poojary, who started in midfield against Qatar, sounded ecstatic while speaking about the match which was played in front of a 23,000-odd crowd at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

“It was a great night for all of us, let alone Indian football. Everyone played their due part and contributed to earn the desired result. Gurpreet bhai dished out one of his finest performances which will be remembered for long,” Poojary recalled.

“As coach Stimac mentioned, we have to keep our heads down and keep working to get our first win now. Unless we get to win against Bangladesh, the draw against Qatar will lose its value,” he added.

Vinit Rai, who came off the bench against Qatar, mentioned that the ‘never-say-die’ attitude in the dressing room helped India achieve the result against Qatar in front of a hostile crowd.

“We can’t thank enough coach Igor Stimac for believing in our abilities. Now, we have a major task to cut out against Bangladesh in Kolkata and no matter what, we have to get the desired result,” Rai said.

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