While 12 National teams of the Asian Football Confederation compete in deciding matches for the right to participate in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Indian National Team will play two friendly matches with the national teams of Bahrain and Belarus.
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Bahrain national team
The Bahrain national team will be the first opponent of the Indian team, the match is due 23 March. The Bahrainians, just like the Indians, took part in the Asian qualification for the World Cup. The Indian national team finished third in E group scoring 7 points, giving in to Oman and Qatar.
The national team of Bahrain in group C played against Iran, Iraq, Hong Kong and Cambodia. The main struggle for the following stage was between Iran, Iraq and Bahrain. As a result, Iran scored 18 points, Iraq scored 17, the reds scored 15 points, giving in to Iran in the last but one guest game (0:3) and having lost points in the guest game with Hong Kong (0:0).
The Bahrein national team is number 81 on the FIFA rating, while the Indian team is number 95. These two teams met four times in official games and the middle east team won all of them. The teams played twice as part of the World Cup selection in 1993 (2:1 and 3:0) and met twice during the Asian Cup in 2011 (5:2) and 2019 (1:0).
During the World Cup qualification the Bahrainians completed the group stage match with a 15:4 goal difference. There were 9 unanswered goals into the gates of Cambodia in two matches.
The Reds were less fortunate at the Arab Cup without the Cambodia and Hong Kong teams, having lost to the national teams of Oman (0:3) and Qatar (0:1) and had a draw with the Iraq team (0:0).
Helio Souza, the Portugese mentor of the Bahrain team, has already named a list of 26 footballers who will be called to the nearest friendly matches. Just four of them play for foreign clubs.
Ali Madan plays for Al-Orooba at the bottom of the UAE leaderboard. The flanking forward scored 6 goals and 5 passes in 18 matches of the league this season. 33-year-old Ali Haram and 31-year-old Abdulla Al-Hazaa form a connection in the center of the defense of Al-Tadamon of Kuwait. The only footballer representing a European club is Abdulla Yusuf of Slovana from the Czech Republic. This center forward scored 3 goals and made 2 goal passes in 12 matches of the Czech championship.
Belarus national team
The Belarus national team is considered small by European football standards. It performs in league C in the Nations League, third out of four. The Belarusians didn’t get to the European Cup last year, and lost seven out of eight matches of the World Cup European selection, having celebrated just one victory over the Estonian national team in March.
The team of Georgy Kondratiev completed last year on a positive note. It won the national team of Jordan (1:0). On the FIFA rating the Belarus team is number 94, close to Bahrain and India.
The team lineup has changed a lot since the World Cup selection. However, it still includes Andrey Solovey, second shooter of the Top League of Belarus (18 goals + 7 passes), who is also second player of the team according to Transfermarkt (1 million Euro). The most expensive player of the European national team is Evgeny Yablonskiy, defensive midfield of Aris, Cyprus.
There are more players from the Belarus national team participating in foreign championships. 9 out of 23 footballers of this lineup represent clubs from Russia, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus.
Vitaliy Lisakovich, 24-year-old foreman international player is worth mentioning. In winter he transferred to the Russian Rubin and scored five goals and gave one assist during four matches.
The meeting with the Belarus national team is due 26 March.
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