Tim Cahill knows India will have tough task in China, but the Australian striker feels that the visitors can secure a positive result when the two countries face each other in an international friendly on Saturday.
Cahill, who recently made his Indian Super League debut for Jamshedpur FC, has first-hand experience of China’s footballing scenario.
The former Everton striker plied his trade in China for two years with two different Chinese Super League teams – Zhejiang Greentown and Shanghai Shenhua – and scored 15 goals during his time there.
“I am not going to compare the levels of the leagues because I have only been in India for a short space of time,” he was quoted as saying in a media release issued by ISL. “I know that India have a big task ahead but they are definitely capable of getting a result if they are disciplined and are set up well.”
The Indian team is playing an international match in China for the first time, although the two countries’ senior sides have faced each other 17 times in the past. India haven’t tasted success in any of those 17 games. China have played in India seven times in the invitational tournament Nehru Cup.
Cahill, who has played four World Cups, feels the international friendly against China is a good opportunity for India.
“There are exciting times ahead for India and it is fantastic, especially having to go to China and experience the atmosphere and the level of play,” he said. “For me, playing in China was fantastic. Getting to understand the local players and also the style of football and playing against China numerous times in competitions. China are a strong team.”
On the strengths and weaknesses of China, Cahill said, “[They are] defensively very good and are set up well. One of the biggest problems they have is of scoring goals but creating chances, defending and build-up play is very good. Their players are technically gifted and are very disciplined.
He added, “They have a good thought process for football and they love the game. It is definitely going to be a difficult game for India because they are very physical and are very quick with the way they move the ball. It will be a tough encounter.”