Anwar Ali finally played his first match in the Indian Super League, after winning a long battle with administrators and doctors.
Manipur beat Odisha and Railways beat Mizoram in their respective semifinals, both via penalty shootouts.
Manisha Kalyan scored a historic goal for India against Brazil in a 1-6 loss, only underlining the team's need for more game time.
Anwar Ali is all set to make his return to the ISL, after FC Goa signed him on a two-year deal.
The final-round qualifiers for AFC Asian Cup 2023 will depart from its traditional format due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
India beat Nepal 3-0 thanks to goals from Sunil Chhetri, Suresh Singh and Sahal Abdul Samad.
This will be 12th final appearance for India.
"But there is an old problem which is following us and that's converting chances. We cannot be dependent on just one player," said Stimac.
Stimac's team is still without a win at the SAFF Championships, having drawn against 10-man Bangladesh in their opening game.
Suni Chhetri scored his 76th goal for the national team.
Anirudh Thapa's 60th minute equaliser helped India draw against Nepal.
"I am looking forward to playing at the highest level once again," said Ali after the AIFF's decision.
The bidding process for the hosting rights for the 2027 Asian Cup has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Hossein Zamani wonder goal cancelled out an Ovays Azizi own goal as India drew Afghanistan 1-1.
Brandon's instinctive and accurate passing makes him special, and possibly India's most valuable asset.
"I've never been fitter than now. The hunger of playing for the country is still there," Chhetri said.
With the changes, clubs can sign a maximum of six foreign players of whom one is required to be from an AFC member nation.
Chhetri's two goals in 13 minutes flipped the narrative on its head and lifted Indian morale.
Chhetri's two second half goals helped India go third in the group with a win over Bangladesh.
A win vs Bangladesh would boost India's chances of a 3rd place finish in the qualifying group.
Thapa tested positive on Wednesday, a day before India lost 0-1 to Qatar.
Qatar beat India 1-0, with Rahul Bheke being sent off in the 17th minute.
India coach says the situation back home will motivate the players ahead of the qualifiers in Qatar.
Franco, a midfielder, was a key member of the 1962 Asiad gold-winning Indian side.
UAE's Ali Mabkhout scored a hat trick as as UAE crushed India 6-0.