AFC Asian Cup: Ready to give it a real fight, says Pritam Kotal ahead of India vs UAE match

first_imgAfter a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Thailand in the first group match, defender Pritam Kotal feels that India are well prepared to take on hosts UAE in their next match here [in Abu Dhabi] on Thursday.Kotal, who played a stellar role as right wing back for India keeping Thailand’s Chanathip Songskrasin quiet in the previous game, said that the team has made specific plans for the hosts.”We have our plans for the UAE game. You will be able to see them while we implement it on the pitch,” Kotal said.”They are a very good side. We have a lot of respect for them. But we are ready to give it a real fight.”When asked whether the Indians view the UAE as their toughest opponents in the group stage, Kotal said: “Every match is difficult.””You can’t really say which match is tough. Before the Thailand game, would anybody have said that it was going to be easy? Every match is tough. We expect UAE to be a tough game too. They are the hosts. We have to fight in every game and aim to take three points,” he added.We have our plans in place for UAE , says @KotalPritamRead here #BlueTigers #IndianFootball #AsianDream Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 9, 2019The Indian defence played a key role in keeping the Thai attackers at bay in their last game, and Kotal believes that the back-four have a good chemistry between themselves.advertisement”Our back four has been playing together for some time now. That has built up our understanding, and the chemistry.”We always talk to each other, tell each other where to position ourselves, whom to mark. This has obviously improved since we have been playing together for some time,” Kotal asserted.India coach Stephen Constantine meanwhile, stressed that the “game is played on the pitch, not on paper.””We know all the three games are going to be very tough. There’ll be no easy game at this level. But we’ll go toe-to-toe with them. A game is not played on paper, but on the pitch. The UAE are the hosts and will be under pressure. It’s understandable they will go for all three points,” Constantine said on the eve of the game.UAE are currently ranked 79th in the FIFA rankings, and they have been on the winning side on eight occasions against India out of the 13 matches played between the two sides. India have won thrice.The last encounter between these two sides which took place at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi in 2011 had ended in a 2-2 draw, with the last goal being scored by Jeje Lalpekhlua.Also Read | AFC Asian Cup 2019: After dream start vs Thailand, India brace for tougher test against UAEAlso Read | Sunil Chhetri’s team donates fines worth Rs 50,000 to Indian Blind Football FederationAlso Read | Sacked after defeat to India, Thailand head coach praises Sunil Chhetri & Co.Also Watch:last_img

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