AFC Challenge Cup 2014 Qualifiers: India face Chinese Taipei

AFC Challenge Cup 2014 Qualifiers, India vs Chinese Taipei, Picture Courtesy: Archak Sengupta(Durgapur, Kolkata)

India vs Chinese Tapiei
AFC Challenge Cup 2014 Qualifiers
Yangon Training Centre, 3PM IST
2nd March 2013

Its time for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 qualifiers and the Blue Tigers are up against Chinese Taipei first up. Team India though are expected to come up with all guns blazing against their opponent, but one cannot forget that the same was expected from the team when it played against the visiting Palestine team who gave the Blue Tigers a reality check with a thumping win. This time the stake is higher and qualification for the finals of AFC Challenge Cup 2014 is of great importance.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri who is on loan to Churchill Brothers from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, have played two matches for i-League side Churchill Brothers including a AFC Cup tie against Kitchee of Hong Kong, He could not live up to the expectation in India's last game against Palestine in the International Friendly and he would be raring to go and would love to make a clear statement as why he is considered, the best forward in India. With Jeje back in the side the striking department looks good. Moreover, Robin Singh could also be used to have the more physical advantage.

As we pointed out in India's last game, midfield is not a concern anymore with rich quality due to the presence of Lalkamal Bhowmik, Izumi Arata, Mehtab Hussain, Alwyn George, Clifford Miranda but all depends on Wim Koeverman's final XI.

The only concern as most of the time associated with the present Blue Tigers team is the defese. The concern has aggravated mainly because of injuries to the reliable players like Sandesh Jhingan of United Sikkim FC and Arnab Mondal of Kingfisher East Bengal. Once considered Mr. reliable and consistent, Gourmangi Singh has been criticized for lack of pace. If the defense can hold out strong, then India can be a real tough nut to crack with the other two departments relatively strong.

The Indian Squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Subrata Paul (Prayag United), Sandip Nandy (Churchill Brothers), Karanjit Singh (Salgaocar SC).

DEFENDERS: Nirmal Chhetri, Syed Rahim Nabi (both from Mohun Bagan), Denzil Franco (Churchill Brothers), Gouramangi Singh (Prayag United), Rowilson Rodrigues (Dempo SC), Shouvik Ghosh (Pailan Arrows), Raju Gaikwad (East Bengal), Gurjinder Singh (Pune FC).

MIDFIELDERS: Lenny Rodrigues (Churchill Brothers), Lalkamal Bhowmick, CK Vineet (both from Prayag United), Arata Izumi (Pune FC), Mehtab Hossain (East Bengal), Francisco Fernandes (Salgaocar SC), Alwyn George (Pailan Arrows), Jewel Raja Shaikh (Mohun Bagan), Clifford Miranda (Dempo SC).

FORWARDS: Sunil Chhetri (Churchill Brothers) Robin Singh (East Bengal), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Pune FC)

The kick-off at the Yangon Training Centre is at 4pm (IST: 3pm) on Saturday (March 2).

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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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