India’s 5th AFC Asian Cup stint: A quest for breakthrough success

Discover India’s quest for success in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 as they aim to transcend prior setbacks and advance through the group stage.

India is gearing up for its fifth participation in the AFC Asian Cup, commencing on January 13, marking another milestone in their football history.

Throughout history, India has competed in the Asian Cup in 1964, 1984, 2011, and 2019. While their initial entry remains the most successful, finishing as runners-up to Israel in a round-robin tournament, subsequent attempts have seen them unable to progress past the group stage.

Unlike past campaigns, the current squad boasts several players with multiple Asian Cup experiences. Eight members of the team have participated in the final rounds previously, with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Sunil Chhetri notably featuring in three editions.


Reflecting on his earlier exposure during the 2011 tournament, Gurpreet recalled learning from legends like Subrata Paul and Bhaichung Bhutia, shaping his growth as a goalkeeper.

According to Gurpreet, India’s football transition post the 2011 Asian Cup has led to a more seasoned 2023 squad. The infusion of fresh talent over the years has now resulted in a squad with substantial experience, a fact acknowledged by India’s primary goalkeeper.

Gurpreet emphasized the significance of displaying the right intent in the tournament, underscoring his evolved understanding after past participations. He stressed the importance of transmitting this intent to his teammates, highlighting the role of experience in this aspect.

Central defender Sandesh Jhingan, a stalwart in India’s defense, expressed the need to raise the bar beyond mere qualification. He outlined the team’s collective ambition to progress further in the tournament, moving past the celebratory phase of qualification.

Recalling the 2019 campaign, Jhingan pointed out missed opportunities against UAE, highlighting the unforgiving nature of the tournament where even minor errors could be detrimental.

Echoing Jhingan’s sentiments, fullback Subhasish Bose emphasized India’s improved team dynamics and the collective aspiration to surpass the group stage challenges in the upcoming tournament.


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