THE INDIAN NATIONAL TEAM will undergo its preparations for the upcoming World Cup Qualifier match against Bangladesh in Guwahati, and they have also booked a friendly match to top it off.
NorthEast United, the ISL franchise based in Guwahati, will face the Blue Tigers in a friendly match on 9th October.
A press release from the franchise announced,
"NorthEast United FC will face the Indian National Football Team in a friendly match in preparation for the upcoming Hero Indian Super League 2019-20. The match will take place at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium Guwahati on Wednesday, the 9th of October with Kick-Off scheduled at 7.30 PM. The match will be open for all.
The National Team is in Guwahati for their preparation camp ahead of their FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Bangladesh on 15th of October and it’ll be the first time in history that they will play a friendly against an Indian Super League club.
Talking about the friendly NorthEast United FC’s head coach Robert Jarni said, “It’s a great opportunity for us to play the Indian National Team before we begin our season. I am sure it will be a fantastic match and will help both sides prepare for the upcoming fixtures.”
This is the first time the Blue Tigers have decided to play a friendly with an Indian clubs side since 25th August 2013 when they took on Bengaluru FC in Bangalore. The match ended 1-1.
With the match being open for the fans to see, the football fans in Guwahati will have a chance to get another glimpse of the national team in action since they played Oman last month; which was attended by a throng of more than 27,000 enthusiastic supporters. India led the scoreline for most of the match before conceding two goals in the final minutes, losing the game.
The Blue Tigers made a major comeback after the game, holding Asian champions Qatar to a goalless draw in Doha. The upcoming match against Bangladesh will be critical to ensuring India stay in the fight to progress to the third round of the World Cup / Asian Cup joint qualifiers.
India will hopefully get a good workout in the friendly match from NorthEast United, who recently held the I-League club Minerva Punjab to a draw at home in a pre-season friendly match.