India will take on Chinese Taipei on the opening day of the much-awaited Hero Intercontinental Cup which kicks-off at the Mumbai Football Arena on June 1, 2018. The other two teams in the competition – Kenya and New Zealand will play their first match against each other the next day.
The tournament which will be telecast live on Star Sports is being organised to strengthen India’s preparation for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 — India’s second qualification to the Continental Championship in 8 years and fourth overall.
Indian National Team Coach Stephen Constantine labelled the Hero Intercontinental Cup as a “very important tournament for development.”
“The Intercontinental Cup is a very important tournament for our progression and development. It is good that New Zealand are coming as they have a strong team,” Constantine stated.
“Chinese Taipei have improved in the last four-five months and the Kenyans will be strong and physical. In fact, any team from Africa will be a challenge for us,” he added. “You always learn from playing against better teams.”
The National Team is currently camping in Mumbai as part of their preparation for the tournament.
Several players from Kenya and New Zealand have been playing their professional football across the globe and fans in Mumbai will be in for a major treat. The four-team tournament has representation from the CAF region in the form of Kenya, New Zealand from the Oceania, and Chinese Taipei from the AFC.
All the four teams will be playing against each other once before the top two teams will be competing in the Grand finale slated to be held at the new hub of Indian Football on June 10.
The Indian National Team which has been on an upsurge over the last couple of years are currently ranked 97 (as per May 2018 FIFA Rankings) and were on an unbeaten run for 12 official matches for a span which extended from June 2016 to November 2017.
The fixtures stay as follows:
June 1, 2018: India vs Chinese Taipei.
June 2, 2018: Kenya vs New Zealand.
June 4, 2018: India vs Kenya.
June 5, 2018: Chinese Taipei vs New Zealand.
June 7, 2018: India vs New Zealand.
June 8, 2018: Chinese Taipei vs Kenya.
June 10, 2018: FINAL.