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King's Cup: Igor Stimac set to miss Ashique Kuruniyan & Jeje Lalpekhlua

06:27 BST 16/05/2019
India UAE Jeje Lalpekhlua
The new India coach has been dealt a blow ahead of his first assignment in Thailand next month...

India's new national team coach Igor Stimac is set to miss the services of two regulars in Jeje Lalpekhlua and Ashique Kuruniyan for the upcoming King's Cup campaign in Thailand.

India have been pitted against Curacao in the King's Cup opener on June 5 and Stimac, who took charge on Wednesday, is expected to hold a national team camp in New Delhi shortly in preparation.

But he will have to make do without injured forwards Jeje and Ashique.

Jeje is suffering from a knee injury and was absent from Chennaiyin FC's AFC Cup loss to Abahani Dhaka Ltd on Wednesday. He is set to undergo a surgery on his knee and will not be fit to feature in the King's Cup.

FC Pune City forward Ashique Kuruniyan is also suffering from an injury which is likely to keep him out till July.

The versatile forward, who can play anywhere across the front three, was impressive in India's AFC Cup campaign in January while Jeje has a proven record with the national team. The absence of two vital forwards is an obstacle Stimac will have to overcome as he prepares for his first assignment.

The King's Cup is a FIFA-sanctioned international ‘A’ tournament being organised by the Thailand FA since 1968. India's previous participation in the King's Cup was in 1977. Hosts Thailand and Vietnam are the two other teams participating in the tournament.