China recently beat India’s Asian Cup groupmate: Jhingan, Jeje await tough friendly

first_imgIndia are set to play against China in Suzhou in a friendly fixture on October 13 as part of the preparation for AFC Asian Cup 2019 in UAE. China will also be playing in the Asian Cup even though they are in a different group than India.India are grouped in Group A alongside hosts UAE, Bahrain and Thailand and considering the strides being made by each country, it’s going to be a very tough challenge for India.To prepare for the difficult road of Asian Cup, India are playing China PR, world No.76 according to FIFA rankings while we are ranked 97th in the world. In Asia, China are the seventh best ranked team while India are placed eight places below them.India’s central defender Sandesh Jhingan felt China will prove to be a very tough opponent and this in turn can lay the best platform for intense preparation of the Asian Cup in January.Also read – 2019 AFC Asian Cup: India clubbed with Thailand, Bahrain, hosts UAE”Really looking forward to it. After many years, India is going to play China, they are a good side, good coach. They’ve seen quite a bit of success in the last few years and of course a very good squad with all the money coming into the league and with good players also coming in.”They are a good team, they have a good ranking as well and they just beat Bahrain, who are in our group in Asian Cup. It’s a good preparation for Asian Cup because there are all the big teams in Asia and we have to play against the big guns so that you get to see yourself,” Jhingan said at the sidelines of a two-day preparatory camp in New Delhi before the team depart for China on October 10.advertisement Sandesh Jhingan wants India to show the desire and passion against China. (India Today Photo)Indian forward Jeje Lalpekhlua also echoed Jhingan’s thoughts and felt it is a very opportunity to play against a big team and they will have to look to get a positive result out of the match.”Yes, I think, this game is like I said, not going to be easy, it’s going to be very difficult but I think this preparation for the Asian Cup and it’s good for us. We get a good opportunity to play with big team. And, like I said, we need to take something from this game.”I haven’t seen much of China yet. I played once against one of their clubs at Mohun Bagan but haven’t seen much of their national team but I think they are a good side. China are playing very well and especially in their league, it’s going good. Like India have starting with the ISL now, China began the Chinese Super League earlier and like now a lot of big players are going there. They are more developed,” Jeje said.Both Jhingan and Jeje felt that even though getting a good result in matches is always important, against China, they wanted to see where they stand, give their 100 per cent on the pitch and get some learnings from the match.”Result is of course important but the most important thing is how you play. Like I said they are a very good side and I think with the kind of sides we are going to face in the Asian Cup, according to that I feel this will be a good preparation,” Jeje told.Also read – Aim to break into top 10 in Asia first, World Cup later: Sunil Chhetri”What I want as a player is for our team to give their best. I expect them to give their 100 per cent, the commitment the desire should be second to none so that’s something expecting and if we do that, we stick to the plan, play as a team so let’s see how it goes. We are obviously going for a win but we expect to play as a team and give your best, passion should be there.”You have to understand why we are playing this game. The main thing is to improve as an individual and as a team. In friendlies, the performance is more important. How the boys get along, we are all together after a long time now, we’ve come back so it’s going to be hard. We have a good chemistry so that can be managed but more importantly is playing games in friendlies and more into seeing that instead of result,” Jhingan asserted.advertisement Sandesh Jhingan and Jeje Lalpekhlua feel that India will have to play as a team to get a positive result against China. (India Today Photo)India will need two crucial partnerships to get going against China if they are to get positives out of their game — Jhingan and Anas Edathodika (in central defence) and Jeje and Sunil Chhetri (in the final third).While Jeje and Chhetri represent different clubs in domestic football, Jhingan and Anas are both playing for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League this season. Jhingan feels the fact that he and Anas practice even more together now makes their understanding even better.”It’s about how much you play together. As a defender it’s very important to have a chemistry with your partners, where you trust your partners and the more you play, the better you get as a partnership and we [Jhingan and Anas Edathodika] have a really good partnership in the national team now. He has come to Kerala now so we train more together, go to gym together and hang out also out of the field. So, you get that good feeling. Looking forward to seeing how we improve more.”Also read – India set to play Saudi Arabia, China as preparation for AFC Asian CupJeje said whenever he and Chhetri are playing against each other, it is for the club. However, when it comes to playing for India, it is an automatic transition. Apart from describing his relationship with Chhetri, Jeje felt it was important for everyone in the team to look to convert opportunities.”It’s different in national team and club team is different. Because whenever we [Jeje and Chhetri] play each other, we want to play for our team. But when you come in for the national team, it’s a different feeling because we are playing for the country and playing for India. It feels different.”Not just the both of us but the team is important. We are all pumped up for the game and we have to play as a team. If we stay together and play like before, I’m sure we’ll get a good result.”last_img