Igor Stimac insists India won’t underestimate Bangladesh
India head coach Igor Stimac has said that the Blue Tigers won’t underestimate Bangladesh ahead of the World Cup qualifying game in Kolkata. India have accumulated just one point from the opening two matches but they should go into the game with confidence after holding Asian champions Qatar to a 0-0 draw last month.
Speaking in a press conference, Stimac said that the favourite tag does not mean anything and he gave the example of Qatar’s goalless stalemate against the Blue Tigers last month. He added to praise Bangladesh’s previous efforts against Qatar and stated that his team need to play at their best to pick up maximum points at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
"I wouldn't like any of you to underestimate Bangladesh. That's not a good thing to do. Whenever we underestimate someone the result is not good. Bangladesh did a very good job against Qatar. They created more chances. They have their expectations and dreams. They have not come here to lose the match they have come here to win. Let's go into this game by being respectful to the Bangladeshi team," he told reporters.
India started their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Oman but there were positives from the game. Sunil Chhetri scored the opener in the 24th minute and the Blue Tigers managed to hold onto the advantage until the final quarter of the game, where they lost their defensive shape. Al Mandhar Al Alawi made the difference for Oman with a brace in the final 10 minutes.
Against Qatar, India were overwhelming underdogs with the difference in quality between the sides but they managed to come up with a point after some heroic goalkeeping from Gurpreet Sandhu, who was the captain on the day with influential leader Sunil Chhetri missing the game through injury. India are unbeaten against Bangladesh since the turn of the century with five wins and five draws.