News Live Scores
AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers: Which India U23 player played most minutes last season?

05:15 BST 22/10/2021
India U23
India begin their 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup qualifiers on October 25 against Oman...

The India U23 side is all set to begin their campaign in the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup qualifying round from October 25. India will play their first match against Oman at the Fujairah Stadium, in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

After winning the SAFF Championship with the senior side, Croatian coach Igor Stimac now has a tough task at hand with junior India boys as they go up against some of the top Asian teams. India are clubbed in Group E alongside Oman, Kyrgyz Republic and hosts UAE.

India does not boast of a very good record at the AFC U23 Asian Cup. In fact, they have never managed to go past the qualifying group stage and make it to the main tournament in the brief history of the competition. The tournament was started in January 2014 and so far, four editions of the competition have been held. 

India's best-ever performance in the qualifying round of the AFC U23 Championship was in the inaugural edition of the competition where they secured seven points in the five games and had scored 11 goals in the tournament. In the 2016 and 2020 qualification rounds, India failed to secure any points. And in 2016, the Blue Tigers did not score a single goal in the group matches.

Stimac recently announced the final 23-man India squad for the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup qualfiiers. The manager has named five players - Dheeraj Singh, Suresh Singh, Apuia, Jeakson Singh, Rahim Ali - from the SAFF Championship winning senior team.

Here, we take a look at the number of minutes the India U23 players played during the 2020-21 season for their respective clubs in the domestic league and AFC competitions. Bengaluru FC's Suresh Singh played the most number of minutes (1954) in the Indian Super League (ISL) and AFC Cup 2021 followed by Lalengmawia Ralte or Apuia who played 1851 minutes for NorthEast United in the ISL. He won the Emerging Player of the Year award in the ISL last season and had also become the youngest player to captain an ISL side.

However, Prabsukhan Gill has not played a single minute last season while the likes of Vikram Partap Singh, Rohit Danu and Komal Thatal have played the least minutes. Nikhil Raj is the only player in the squad who did not play for a top-tier club last season. Raj plied his trade for Bengaluru-based club Kickstart FC and played in BDFA Super Division.

Which India U23 player played most minutes last season?

Player Club (2020/21) Total Minutes played in 2020/21
Suresh Singh Bengaluru FC 1954
Apuia NorthEast United FC 1851
Akash Mishra Hyderabad FC 1800
Ashis Rai Hyderabad FC 1552
Dheeraj Singh ATK Mohun Bagan/FC Goa 1269
Deepak Tangri Chennaiyin FC 1251
Jeakson Singh Kerala Blasters 1139
Bryce Miranda Churchill Brothers 1126
Rahul KP Kerala Blasters 1121
Hormipam Ruivah Punjab FC 1051
Rahim Ali Chennaiyin FC 1046
Mohammad Nawaz FC Goa 900
Princeton Rebello FC Goa 840
Aniket Jadhav Jamshedpur FC 642
Narender Gahlot Jamshedpur FC 578
Amarjit Singh Jamshedpur FC/FC Goa 394
Sumit Rathi ATK Mohun Bagan 380
Alex Saji Churchill Brothers 299
Vikram Pratap Singh Mumbai City FC 94
Komal Thatal ATK Mohun Bagan 66
Rohit Danu Hyderabad FC 27
Prabhsukhan Gill Kerala Blasters 0
Nikhil Raj Kickstart FC -