With India poised to face formidable rivals Iran in their upcoming World Cup qualifier, midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh is keen to test his mettle against the top ranked team in Asia.
“It is natural. You want to test yourself against the very best. Tell me who doesn’t want to play Argentina,” Lyngdoh said before India’s practice session at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.
“Moreover, this also gives us an opportunity to give our opponents a hard fight,” he added.
Iran are the strongest team in Asia, placed at 40th in the FIFA rankings, whle India are placed at the 155th spot. But despite the obvious gap in quality and pedigree of the two teams, Lyngdoh is confident that the Indians are ready for the fight.
“In football anyone can win, anyone can lose. We have a plan and we will follow that. We will give it our best shot and hope for a positive result,” the 28-year-old asserted.
“Our coach (Stephen Constantine) has been motivating us to give it our best shot and that has installed in us a mentality. We are raring to go.”
The two teams head into Tuesday’s clash with contrasting results from their last international matches.
While India had a goalless stalemate against Nepal in an international friendly, Iran registered a convincing 6-0 win over Guam.
India saw their chances of travelling to the 2018 World Cup go haywire after losing their last qualification match 1-2 in Guam. But Lyngdoh insisted that everything is not yet lost.
“We are still on track for our qualification if we get results our way. But we are focused on the game. Iran are a good side and we have to be on our level best if we have to get points out of them,” the Pune FC midfielder stated.
The Indian team has been utilising several innovative techniques during training. These include the recently bought GPS systems which provide information about the physical condition and work rate of a player during matches and training sessions.
“We have been working very hard recently and with the innovative GPS System implemented, we have been able to identify and hone our fitness level,” Lyngdoh remarked.
“Against Iran, obviously we have to work hard. But, we are ready for that.”