India will take on Turkmenistan to begin their campaign in the 2020 AFC U-16 Championship Qualifier in Tashkent on Wednesday.

India have been pitted in Group B alongside Turkmenistan, Bahrain and hosts Uzbekistan and the players have their plans chalked out for the opener, believes head coach Bibiano Fernandes.

“This is one of the tougher groups in the AFC Qualifiers, and we have been working hard for this competition,” said Fernandes. “We know getting the desired results will not be easy in any of the matches, but we believe that if we play to our ability we will overcome this group.”

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In their first match, India will face off against Turkmenistan, a challenge that Bibiano believes his boys are ready for.

“Turkmenistan will be a tough opponent in the opening game. Of course, we have been preparing for these matches for quite some time, so the boys know exactly what to do. We have our plans, and hopefully, proper execution of these plans will lead to three points tomorrow,” he said.

Fernandes has built up a reputation for bringing talented youngsters through the ranks, providing for a bright future for the senior national team in the years to come.

“When you find a talented player, you want to do all you can in order to not lose him. That is why it is very important to teach them how to behave from this early stage.