India captain and striker Sunil Chhetri said that the team “desperately” wants to win their AFC Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan. India take on the Kyrgyz Republic on June 13 in their second qualifier of Group A. “We desperately want to win against Kyrgyz Republic at home as they are the favourites and three points against them will boost our chances to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2019,” said Chhetri.
“Kyrgyz Republic is a big hurdle for us but we are confident to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 and with the winning momentum that we have, adds to it,” said Chhetri, “When you win everybody is happy. Winning changes things. It is very important for teams to keep winning. We hope to put our best foot forward.”
India, owing to their recent rise, are ranked 100th in the FIFA rankings while Kyrgyz Republic are 32 places below them at 132. But Chhetri said that rankings don’t matter to players, “Rankings are important to some extent as there are a lot of variables at play. But it is imperative for us to keep winning matches like we did against Myanmar, Puerto Rico and Nepal. As a player you never worry about FIFA rankings, you put your head down and do the work. Rankings do matter but as a player our job is to concentrate on the pitch and give it our best.”
Chhetri also was all praises for the fellow forward Jeje Lalpekhlua saying that the Mizo striker is the “best player in the country right now.” “He has been outstanding for the country and whenever he plays we find ourselves in a comfortable position,” said the Indian captain, “He is going to take us places.”