Not so easy
With five points from two draws and one win, India are currently at third place below Maldives (six points from three matches) and Nepal (six points from three matches).
Nepal play Bangladesh (fourth place with four points) in an earlier kick off on Wednesday. Two-time and defending champions Maldives have never been easy opponents for India in the history of this regional tournament though the island country sits 51 ranking points below India in FIFA chart at 158th.
The side led by veteran Ali Ashfaq, one of the best strikers in the region, have regrouped themselves after losing their opening match against Nepal, beating Bangladesh 2-0 and Sri Lanka 1-0.
Just like India captain Sunil Chhetri, the 36-year-old Ashfaq has carried Maldives football on his shoulders for a long time and he has scored two of his side's three goals in this tournament. He will, no doubt, be the man India will have to be wary about.
Chhetri the saviour
India felt the absence of experienced Sandesh Jhingan in deep defence as they could not defend a 1-0 lead against 10-man Bangladesh who scored a late equaliser despite numerical inferiority. In the second match against 205th-ranked Sri Lanka, Indian forwards, including Chhetri, had an off day as they could not create enough chances and also failed to finish whatever few scoring opportunities they had for a 0-0 draw.
Chhetri came to the rescue of the team once again against Nepal, scoring the decisive goal to equal the legendary Pele in the previous match, but the question is how long the country will keep relying on a 37-year-old warhorse to find the opposition net.
Understandably, Stimac has rued the inability of his forwards to convert the scoring chances. "We need to improve our scoring from the chances which we're creating," he said.
"It's simple, if we do that, games become very easy. Otherwise you need to suffer till the end, or even beyond the end," the Croat added, still believing that his side can reach the summit clash.