MEMBERS OF THE Indian national team camp who are undergoing preparatory training in Kolkata played a friendly match against IFA XI, comprising of Santosh Trophy and CFL players based in the city.
The match was played in two 25 minute halves, with the Igor Stimac's India XI got the win 1-0 thanks to Hyderabad FC defender Akash Mishra's solo effort goal scored a minute before the end of regulation time.
In the first half, India XI predictably kept more of the ball. They were especially active building attacks up the left flank thanks to a lively performance from Bipin Singh. But most of the chances they created ended in shots getting blocked or going wide. Priyant Singh, who was playing at the goal for IFA XI, also pulled off a couple of memorable saves.
The second half was more of the same but with a completely new set of players, with Igor Stimac switching out the entire team after the break thanks to the match allowing unlimited substitutions. But the best moment of the match came towards the end when Akash Mishra survived a hard tackle, took the ball into IFA XI's box, got past a couple of defenders and slotted it right into the net, scoring the only goal of the match.
Although in terms of result or performance the game didn't have much to offer from either side as the national camp players had no incentive to press hard and risk injury. And despite a couple of scares no major injuries have so far been reported from this game.
Igor Stimac's national team camp is currently housing all prospective players that are being considered for the upcoming friendly matches against Nepal except those who play for Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC, the two clubs who are away in Maldives playing in the AFC Cup 2021 group stage. Those players will join the camp after those matches take place.
Here's a list of players who have been named for the preparatory camp...
India will play Nepal twice, on 2nd and 5th September. Both matches will take place in Kathmandu. Due to fully vaccinated Indian citizens not being required to go through a mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Nepal, the AIFF considered that country as a logistically plausible venue and opponent for friendlies due to much of the world still restricting travel to various degrees due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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