The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday announced that the national team will play their first ever international friendly against west Asian powerhouse Jordan in Amman on November 17. Jordan who went down 1-2 to World Cup runners-up Croatia in their last international friendly earlier this month, are currently placed 110th in the FIFA rankings. India are ranked 97th. The two teams have never met in an international friendly earlier, though the India U-16 team did play Jordan twice earlier this year where the Indians won both encounters, the AIFF said in a statement.
The november friendly which comes after India’s goalless draw against Asian giants China in their last international friendly earlier this month will further set the pace for the national team’s preparations for the AFC Asian Cup which kicks-off in UAE on January 5 next year.
National coach Stephen Constantine maintained the match will be a “big test” for the team.
“This is going to be a really good game for several reasons. Firstly, Jordan is a quality team as we saw them in their 1-2 loss to Croatia the other day. We have to understand the level we are going to face in UAE and to be able to deal with it, we have to face tests like this. The game against China was a big test, and Jordan will be another one as well,” Constantine said.
India, who have been clubbed in Group A with UAE, Thailand and Bahrain in Group A at the AFC Asian Cup, are scheduled to play Thailand in their first match on January 6.
The coach said that the climatic conditions in Amman are very much similar to UAE which will eventually help the team get acclimatised for the Continental championship in January 2019.
“After we secured our qualification we knew we needed to play against those opponents who will put us under pressure from the start. Moreover, we’ll play in Amman where the environment is very much similar to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah where we will play in January,” he said.