Football: Indian National Team news ...

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by arjun2761 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:46 pm

Good win by the Indian team beating a #132 ranked team in the FIFA rankings. We were ranked lower than this until pretty recently, so hopefully our upward ranking momentum continues...

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jayakris » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:01 am

We are playing teams ranked low but consistently beating so many of them is an indication that we have moved up in quality too. We're probably not at the FIFA rank of 100, and would possibly lose 2/3rd of the matches against 100-125 ranked teams, but we probably are around 125 in quality now (may e higher). In any event, we are at a ranking where we will get some interest from top teams to play us friendlies, which can only help interest in soccer, and our own team's quality. Need to continue to be smart in scheduling.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by prajgolf » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:26 am

India has moved four places up to the 96th position in the FIFA World ranking released today.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jaydeep » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:24 pm

#96 is our best ever ranking from February 1996.

We cannot get carried away by rise in rankings: Constantine
"There is always the next game which comes to your mind. So, it's not always possible to enjoy the moment. That's how life is as you are always trying to get better. People may be tempted to go crazy with the recent rise in rankings and the results, but we cannot get carried away," Constantine said.

Constantine was in his room as the news broke, lonely but smiling nonetheless.
"I don't think it's got to do anything with magic. It's just a respect for my job and respect for my players, as much it's the respect for the people around me. These are the key ingredients to any national team moving forward.

"Football team is never about one single person. I take responsibility when the team is not doing well and share the praise when the team is doing well. That's how it is."

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by trojan » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:43 pm

Tri-nation cup

India won against Mauritius 2-1 and drew with St Kitts and Newis 1-1.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by arjun2761 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 pm

St Kitts and Newis has a population of around 50,000.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jayakris » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:13 pm

arjun2761 wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 pm
St Kitts and Newis has a population of around 50,000.
But they are ranked #125, which is just about where we should be ranked. Just as I said a couple of posts above, in June. Our match on Oct 1st against #93 Palestine should be interesting. If we win that, I will be willing to raise my feeling of our quality to somewhere around 110. All in all, we have improved in the recent couple of years, from where we were for quite some time prior to that, which was clearly in the 150-160 range in the world.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jayakris » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:48 pm

Here are the ranking details and prognostication, after I updated my 4-year ranking point calculation spreadsheet.

The tie against #125 St. Kitts (as opposed to a win) cost us about 5 spots in the ranking. Not a huge problem. As of now, we are anyway set to lose a few spots in ranking (as the averaging divisor for 2017, i.e., the number of matches played in 12 months, keeps becoming larger). Assuming that we will win the away match against Macau on Sep 5th, we should be around #105 in the next rankings with 316 points. We could have stayed right around #99 with 334 points, had we won against St. Kitts. No big deal.

But the match against lowly (#183) Macau is important, because it is a continental qualification match with a 2.5 point multiplier in FIFA rankings, as against 1.00 for friendlies. If we lose against Macau, we will drop to the 115-120 range in rankings, with 270 points. We must absolutely win that one in Macau. I am a little concerned that we are going to an away game after a bit of a bummer in that tie against St. Kitts this week.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jaydeep » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:22 pm

A brace from Balwant Singh in the second half helped India to score another win and also cementing top spot in their Group with 3 wins in 3 matches ... In the first half, Jeje and Sunil missed few sitters.

At the 2019 AFC Asian Cup - Third Round Qualification, Macau

Group A
Macau l India 0-2 (0-0)
Goal Scored - Balwant Singh (IND) 57' and 82'

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jayakris » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:35 pm

This is kinda interesting; this guy Balwant Singh. The guy has been playing hearts out since he got into the side. 3 goals in three games and it is not just scoring that he is good at, too. One wonders why it took this long for us to have used him in the national side. He is about 30, and has been around. Turned out to be the super-sub today, as he came in only in the second half.

Nice win, and another important one for big point reasons. We have done a terrific job with all these AFC qualification matches this time. They give 2.5 times the points that a friendly would give. Screwing up these important matches against Asian teams has been why we fell to #165 ranking over the last 15 years. We have picked up a bunch in this go around, consistently beating all the teams we were supposed to beat. These points will remain in the kitty for 4 years and we will not be falling to anywhere near FIFA rank 150 any time soon.

As of now, we will be ranked right outside 100 in the next rankings coming in 10 days, with 316 points. Our next two matches are the continental qualifier home ties against Macau and Myanmar in October and November. We have beaten them both on the road and should handle them at home. Not 100% sure about Myanmar but we should beat them. There was a friendly against #92 Palestine which was on the calendar for early October, but it has gone out of the FIFA calendar this week. I have not seen any reports in India that the friendly has been cancelled, but it may be. Anyway, I am fine if we don't play that. Not much to gain if we win, and a little bit to lose if we lose. Let us just win against Macau and Myanmar and go into next year with some great points from 2016 and 2017. Assuming we get those two wins, we will be ranked around #94 or so at the end of January. If we lose both at home (not gonna happen!), we will still be inside FIFA #115.

Indian football is in great shape for now, after this terrific unbeaten streak in 11 matches with 10 wins. Or 13-2-1 in the last 16 matches, going back to our win against Guam at Bangalore in October 2015. Great two-year run. We didn't upset anybody big (except #114 Puerto Rico) but we kept beating all the teams we were supposed to beat. One loss was by a 1-2 score in March 2016 to Turkmenistan at Kochi and they were ranked around #130 then, but it was a loss we should've avoided. The other loss was to Asia #1 and current world #24 Iran in Teheran a week before that. No complaints on that. Iran is just too damn good and should actually scare some people in Russia next year. The unnecessary tie to #125 St.Kitts a couple of weeks ago by allowing a late equalizer on a corner or something was the 3rd match that we didn't win. Otherwise a terrific run in 16 matches in the last years.

Things are really looking good for Indian football, if we can keep the momentum going. Pretty soon we will start seeing some good countries (not just some island countries or those from Africa) playing India in some friendlies and the Indian public starting to take football a bit seriously.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jaydeep » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:42 pm

Jay, thanks for this detailed post, covering all the aspects of our last 16 matches.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jayakris » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:49 pm

With 3 wins in the first 3 of the 6 qualification pool matches for the AFC Asia Cup (2019), and two of them being road wins, we are pretty sure to advance to Asian Cup 2019 (Jan-Feb). 12 teams have qualified (#24 IRI, #44 JPN, #45 AUS, #49 KOR, #59 SoudiA, #64 UZB, #74 UAE, #77 CHN, #78 QAT, #80 IRQ, #102 SYR, #130 THA) based on 2019 WC qualifiers, which were also taken as the first round of the 2019 AFC Asia Cup qualifying. The next set of 12 teams will come from 6 pools of ongoing matches. India is bound to finish winner most probably, or at least runner-up in our pool of four (Myanmar, Macau, Kyrgiz Rep, with us). We are currently ranked 12th in Asia and the 2nd highest ranked Asian team that hasn't qualified yet, behind #93 Palestine. The Asian top-10 have qualified. But we will be there.

Can you imagine India playing in the Asian Cup in Dubai, Sharja and Abu Dhabi, with all our supporters out there? Looking forward to it. Hopefully we will be good enough to get into the QF or something there, which would be unbelievable. But it is a good 16 months away. Hope we get better by then.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by arjun2761 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:41 pm

Good to see the FIFA ranking improvement! However, I am not so sure about the quality of the team or its performance. This is a little like tennis players bolstering their rankings playing futures in Asia and Africa - they are typically not as good as many others with similar rankings.

Our soccer ELO ranking is 168 which may as close to our level of play as the FIFA rankings.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by jayakris » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:15 am

arjun2761 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:41 pm
Good to see the FIFA ranking improvement! However, I am not so sure about the quality of the team or its performance. This is a little like tennis players bolstering their rankings playing futures in Asia and Africa - they are typically not as good as many others with similar rankings.

Our soccer ELO ranking is 168 which may as close to our level of play as the FIFA rankings.
No. This is quite legit, in terms of improvement. Our team and players have changed quite a bit, except for Chhettri. It is a good team under a good coach. You don't consistently beat teams in the below-140 range of ranking for 16 game stretches, both at home and away, without being of sufficiently higher quality. In the last 10 matches (4 of them abroad), for instance, we have scored 22 goals and allowed just 6. That includes one tie against #125, and wins over #114, and #132 ... In the last 8, of which 4 were abroad, we scored 12 goals and allowed just 4. Usually teams will falter somewhere on the road, if not at home, during any 10 match stretch. We are definitely not at the below-140 level of football any more. We may not be at around #100 like FIFA says, but we are surely not much below #120 or #125 right now.

It is not just us who play minnows and pick up points. There are a lot of teams who play minnows, and a lot of teams have cheap points in their kitty (mostly from wins in continental and world cup qualifying ties of 2.5 times the point multiplier). If you are one of the minnows, you don't get to rise above the rankings of the minnows by beating minnows, because the minnows also will/can beat you sometimes. You need to be appreciably better to beat the minnows, to stay ahead in match after match. We have taken that step in the last couple of years, it seems.

If ELO is showing #168 for us, that is just ridiculous, and it is a less accurate ranking than FIFA's ranking, without a doubt.

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Re: Football: Indian National Team news ...

Post by prasen9 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:05 am

The only way we can explain this is by considering how long the ELO rankings are keeping the old scores. If they are taking last 4-5 years, then yes, it may come to that. Otherwise, if we won 13 of the last 16, even the ELO rankings should have gone up maybe to about 125 range given that we beat Puerto Rico.

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