While Australia aims to win the Asian Cup, India is prepared to weather the storm.

While Australia aims to win the Asian Cup, India is prepared to weather the storm.

January 12, DOHA (Reuters) - With two of the most seasoned managers at the Asian Cup, Australia and India's Group B opening on Saturday looks to be a stylistic duel between the pragmatic Australians and an Indian team trying to get rid of their defensive mentality.

Australia, who won the championship in 2015, is one of the pre-tournament favorites going into the Asian Cup. According to coach Graham Arnold, the team's objective is to win the trophy in Qatar, where they have happy memories of the event.

They advanced to the 2022 World Cup's knockout stages in Qatar, when in the final-16 they nearly defeated eventual winners Argentina.

Having taken over in 2018, Arnold claimed to have reaffirmed the idea that winning the trophy was the ultimate objective.

"We came to this place with the intention of winning the Asian Cup. We probably have a chance to win this event alone," Arnold said to reporters.

Although it is challenging, the boys enjoy traveling to Qatar, where we have a great deal of familiarity.

"You've got to reach for the stars and have high expectations, we'll do that right from the start."

Despite acknowledging that Australia has struggled to find reliable goal scorers since Tim Cahill retired, Arnold is optimistic that their stronger defense will be an asset.

"If you have clean sheets and you have the energy to counter-press... you're only one goal away from winning things," he stated.

"Thus, it's critical that we maintain our practice of keeping clean sheets."


The contest may pit India's Gurpreet Singh (1.97 meters) against Australia's Harry Souttar (2 meters), two of the tallest competitors in the competition.

Australian set pieces and crosses into the box are a strength that Indian coach Igor Stimac recognized.

"They're a fantastic team... They are skilled at execution and play practical football; you can see the patterns," Stimac remarked.

With set pieces, they caused issues for England by cutting to the flanks and placing crosses. Thus, we anticipate a storm to originate there."

India's Asian Cup performances have been dismal; in their last two tournaments, they were eliminated in the group stage.

This time, though, there is cause for optimism as Stimac used figures to demonstrate the extent to which he has improved their technical proficiency since assuming leadership in 2019. The Croatian stated that their ultimate goal is to play "fearless football".

Without a doubt, our goal in coming here was not to protect the box's edge. As we've done the past four years, we're going to attempt to enjoy ourselves while playing football," Stimac declared.

"That's been the process we've been working on and if the defeat comes through that process, I have nothing against it."


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