The Indian football team, who will be hosting Nepal for a friendly on Tuesday, will go into the match taking place at the Football Arena in Andheri Sports Complex with an edge over their neighbours.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) approached Nepal to fix up the friendly last month after their friendly match against Lebanon on May 7 stood cancelled.
India won friendly against Cambodia in March before defeating Myanmar in the Asian Cup 2019 qualifier in Yangon. That was India’s first victory over their rivals after 64 years.
The wins against Cambodia and Myanmar helped Stephen Constantine’s side to break into the top 100 FIFA ranking. India achieved the milestone for the first time since 1996.
The team will be missing Udanta Singh, who set up the Sunil Chhetri goal at the end of the Myanmar match, due to a hamstring injury.
“The mood in the team is great. We are all excited to be representing the country again after the long season. The Nepal game is important so that we are set up before the game against Kyrgyzstan,” Eugeneson Lyngdoh said on Saturday.
“It’s the right preparation (for the game against Kyrgyzstan at Bengaluru) as playing against any team will help us to jell as a team. We are coming back after so many months and it’s important to get our system right before playing against Kyrgyzstan,” he added.
India will be confident against their neighbours as the hosts have not lost against them in the last 18 years.
The friendly is expected to prepare both the teams for the qualifiers of the AFC Asian Cup 2019. India have the qualifying clash against Kyrgyzstan on June 13.