The inaugural edition of the intercontinental cup is slated to begin in Mumbai from 1st June. Four countries, including India, Chinese Taipei, Kenya and New Zealand will compete in the tournament.
India will go head-to-head with Chinese Taipei at the Mumbai Football Arena on 1 June. The match will also be the opening match of the tournament and are set to kick-off at 8 p.m. (IST).
Indian football team defender Sandesh Jhingan said, ”This is the first time India are playing Kenya and they are a different team, the way they play football and the way it is played in their continent is something new for us to experience and I know they are going to be physical, but it will be the good test for us.”
He further said, “In the Asian Cup, we are going to get physical teams. Bahrain is a physical team, so is UAE. So now if we play teams like Kenya we will get to know our weaknesses and on what aspects we need to work on before the Asian Cup.”
“You don’t want to go and play against teams that are not strong or not at the same level. You want to play against teams that always keep you on your toes because that’s how you learn,” he said.
India hosts the Hero Intercontinental Cup for the very first time in which India being the highest ranking team in the tournament Chinese Taipei, Kenya and New Zealand rank 121, 111 and 133 on the FIFA table respectively, against a 97 ranked India.
Unlike New Zealand, who have made two World Cup appearances in the past (1982 and 2010), Kenya haven’t qualified for the World Cup at all.
Sunil Chhetri is ready to complete his 100th game played for India in India`s second fixture of the tournament that showcases India v/s Kenya.