Igor Stimac pushes team for doing better: Ashique Kuruniyan

Doha [Qatar], Sept 8 (ANI): Ahead of the tough game against AFC Asian Cup Champions Qatar, Indian midfielder Ashique Kuruniyan on Sunday said head coach Igor Stimac pushes team for doing better.

"The head coach (Igor Stimac) is really pushing us a lot and motivating us to keep improving. He has instilled great belief in the team and has told us that we have to play without fear. No opponent is unbeatable and we will carry the same confidence with us against Qatar," Kuruniyan said.

"Qatar are the champions of Asia for a reason but we will do everything we can to push them and stick to our plans. Having spent a day travelling, we had a great first session in Doha yesterday to gear up for the game," he added.

In the first game of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers, Blue Tigers faced a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Oman. India were leading the first half of the match but in the last ten minutes, the momentum changed into Oman's favour as Alawi Al Mandhar scored a brace.

The 22-year-old played his first match against Oman after recovering from injury and he played it like the last game of his life.

"Against Oman, there was only one thing on my mind -- I have to play like it is the last game of my life. After the injury, I never thought I will get my chance to come back so early and so, I was motivated to leave everything out on the pitch," said Kuruniyan.

India will play against Qatar in their second match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on September 10. (ANI)