Sports

I-League talent impresses India coach Igor Stimac

New Delhi: The Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac on Sunday said he is impressed with the talents in the ongoing I-league. 

"It was fantastic to witness two I-League matches in Mumbai and Goa and I'm really impressed with the talents. Looking forward to see more action in coming days," All India Football Federation (AIFF) quoted Stimac as saying. 

The Croatian was in the stands in Mumbai earlier this month on February 17 when the Indian Arrows played Kolkata giants Quess East Bengal at the Cooperage Stadium, with the Arrows being led this season by Stimac's assistant coach Venkatesh Shanmugham, also a former India captain. 

Stimac was also in the stands as Mohun Bagan breezed past Churchill Brothers at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Saturday. The former Croatian World Cupper handed the Hero of the Match award to Fran Gonzalez as the Mariners extended their lead at the top of the I-League table with a 3-0 win. 

It was in fact, during the launch of the I-League 2019-20 in November last year that the National Coach had stressed that "every Indian player in the Hero"-League is a potential candidate for a place in the senior team. 

"l will keep coming to watch the matches whenever I can. The players need to know that each player in the League with an Indian passport is one of the possible future candidates for the national team. 

It's up to them — how they perform for their respective teams,' he has stated. Stimac's India, currently with three points from five matches in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers, will next take on Asian Champions Qatar in Bhubaneswar on March 26.

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