Doha: National football team coach Bob Houghton exuded confidence ahead of India`s opening match against Australia in the AFC Asian Cup Football Tournament that kicked off in Doha on Friday.
After the team`s first practice session at the Al Wakrah Stadium here, Houghton said: "The boys are all excited and we are looking forward to it. We have the 23 best players from the country and they are all proud to be a part of the AFC Asian Cup."
The AFC Challenge Cup winners, on the basis of which they India qualified for the continental showpiece after a gap of 24 years, trained for 90 minutes and seemed geared up for their clash against the formidable Australians on January 10.
Asked about the Socceroos ranked number in Asia, Houghton said, "They have more than seven Premiership players in their squad. They are a very good team to play against. Though we have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup after 27 years, it`s still not going to be easy for us."