07/09/2014 …. Successive victories over Chinese Super League sides completed India U-23’s preparation for the Incheon Asian Games. The two matches also completed India U-23 Team’s over two-month long preparatory Camps (since July 1, 2014) including two exposure Tours – one in Czech Republic and the present one in China, and an International Friendly Series involving two matches back home in August.
The victories, first a 3-0 victory over Jaingsu Sainty, and then another convincing 2-0 victory over Shanghai East Asia, currently ranked 4th in Chinese Super League Table (on 41 points from 23 outings) portrayed to the Footballing World the talent on display at the Indian Football front.
The Team which comprises of three Senior Players, as per Asian Games rules, have the same nucleus which had helped India put up a commendable display in the AFC U-22 Championships in Muscat in 2012.
It was a Championship where India beat Lebanon and Turkmenistan comprehensively while a lucky United Arab Emirates escaped with a 1-1 draw against a rampaging Indian side.
Interestingly enough, India have been drawn with UAE in the Incheon Asian Games, a match which many a Player is looking forward to.
“We are looking forward to the Matches. The Asian Games is an unique opportunity for us. We thank the AIFF for providing all the support to us for the preparations,” the Players unanimously in chorus from Shanghai.
They added: “We are looking forward to the challenge and giving our best. The experience at the Games will help us mature better as professional Players.”
Both the Men’s and the Women’s Teams are supposed to be proceeding directly to Incheon from Shanghai on September 9, the tickets for which have been booked almost a couple of months back. They two squads, in fact, are supposed to be among the first Indian contingents to check into the Asian Games Village.
So far, an expenditure of almost Rs. 3 crore have been committed on both the Men’s and the Women’s Team for their preparation for the Asian Games.
While the Indian Men have been clubbed with Jordan and UAE, the Indian Women have been drawn with hosts South Korea, Thailand and Maldives in the Group stages.
The Women’s Team has also had over a month long Preparatory Camp in Mumbai (since July 11, 2014) before moving to Shanghai to play in a series of Friendly matches to prepare themselves for the Mega show.
Head Coach Tarun Roy commented the International Exposure in China “have been of immense help” ahead of the Asian Games.
“We have been waiting and preparing with all seriousness for the Asian Games. The girls have been tireless and so much focused on the job ahead. This is a lifetime opportunity for all as the exposure will help Indian Football in the future. I need to thank AIFF for their vision in providing a foolproof preparation for the mega event.”
The discipline of Football in Asian Games is scheduled to kick-off from September 14.