AFC Asian Cup preparation: India gear up to play Oman behind closed doors

Abu Dhabi [UAE], Dec 26 (ANI): Indian national football team is all geared up to play a friendly match against Oman behind the closed doors as part of their preparation for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup beginning January 5.

Ahead of the match, head coach Stephen Constantine stressed that "India haven't come here expecting to play easy games".

Commenting on the match against Oman, Constantine stated: "It's going to be extremely hard. We have come here to play the big boys of Asia. We played against the likes of Jordan, China. We need to play these sort of games to prepare in the best possible fashion".

"We were very unlucky to lose the first leg in Bengaluru. That was our first group stage game in the qualifiers. But we are a much improved side now, and much younger." Constantine reflected.

Indian central midfielder Pronay Halder, who wasn't part of the squad in the first-leg in Bengaluru complemented his Coach saying "we are a much matured side now".

"We have matured a lot since then. Our organisation on the field is much better compared to what we were in 2015," he opined.

India have been the first team to land in Abu Dhabi for the Asian Cup. "The facilities have been superb and it has been going on according to the plan so far. We have done our homework as well," Constantine insisted.

Oman are currently ranked 82 as per December FIFA Rankings, whereas India are at 97. India last played Oman in the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifiers twice, with Oman winning on both occasions.

India will begin their campaign in the Asian Cup against Thailand on January 6. (ANI)