Over ten years before, India and Iraq played a friendly match in Baghdad that resulted in a 0-2 loss for India.
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King’s Cup 2023: Indian Football Team Set to Face Iraq in Key Matchup
The 49th King’s Cup 2023 will include a match between the Indian men’s football team and Iraq. On September 7, 2023, the game will be held in the 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
In the afternoon of the same day’s second game, Thailand will square off against Lebanon.
On September 10, the victors of the two contests will square off for the trophy. In the third-place playoff, the losers will face off.
After the draw ceremony, which was held by the Football Association of Thailand on Wednesday, August 16, the matchups were set.
According to the draw’s rules, Iraq, the highest-ranked FIFA team at number 70, and Thailand, the tournament’s hosts at number 113, were paired up against the other two teams, India and Lebanon, respectively.
Over ten years before, India and Iraq played a friendly match in Baghdad that resulted in a 0-2 loss for India. But a lot has evolved since then, particularly in the strategy, as seen by the most recent competitions.
Bharat has adopted a more offensive strategy under coach Igor Stimac, and the squad is anticipated to stick with this strategy despite playing a much higher-ranked opponent. The squad, though, will be full of confidence after winning the SAFF and Intercontinental crowns in the same month.
What are the prospects?
The competition provides the squad with a fantastic chance to get ready for the Asian Games, an event for under-23 athletes where just three players from the senior team are permitted. To give them a practice run before the main competition, Stimac would want to gather a few players from the same age range. After several demands from supporters and the coach on social media, the men’s and women’s football teams were approved for the Asian Games on the same day that they were mentioned by the coach during an interview.
Lack of Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri, the captain of the men’s Indian football team, has asked to be taken off the King’s Cup roster.
India’s Kings’ Cup track record
Bharat will be competing in the King’s Cup in Thailand for the fourth time; the most recent being in 2019. The squad lost to Curacao in the semifinal match before defeating Thailand 1-0 to take home the bronze medal.
In 1977, when they made their tournament debut, India also came away with the bronze medal after beating teams like South Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia. Bharat was disqualified at the group stage in 1981.
Official 2023 King’s Cup 49 schedule:
Iraq vs. India, September 7, 2023, 16:00 IST
Thailand vs. Lebanon, September 7, 2023, 19:00 IST
Playoff for third place (16:00 IST, September 10, 2023)