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India brace up for Malaysia clash in Guwahati

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GUWAHATI: With a new coach at the helm, Indian football team would look to post a win after a long gap when they take on Malaysia in an international friendly match on Sunday.

India had not beaten an international side after their stunning 2-1 victory over Qatar on July 18 in Doha and after that they had not won in four matches.

They had lost one match and drawn another in the two-leg 2014 World Cup second round qualifiers in July before back-to-back losses at the Caribbean tour against Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana in August.

With Savio Medeira at the helm, India would look to get the better of Malaysia, who are nine places above the home side in FIFA rankings at 151st.

Medeira, who has worked as assistant to Bob Houghton and Armando Colaco, has selected an experienced side for the match at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium tomorrow with senior players, who are now playing in the I-League, being called up.

It’s difficult to pick the favourite between the two sides though India would consider themselves to be having the slight edge because of home support.

Malaysia have not achieved much in international football though they won their maiden ASEAN Cup last year and the coach who guided the side, Datuk K Rajagopal, is with the team in India.

Just like India, Malaysia also could not get past the second round of 2014 World Cup qualifiers, losing to Singapore 4-6 in aggregate over the two legs. They were also thrashed 0-5 by Australia in an international friendly last month.

Medeira, who succeeded Armando Colaco as national coach, said his boys were raring to go though they lacked in training as a team.

“Though the boys have arrived at a very short notice but they all are raring to go and are looking forward to play the match against Malaysian team,” he said.

“Though they (Malaysia) are higher ranked, but ranking doesn’t make any difference to us, we will play to our potential and would be playing nothing less than a win,” said Medeira.

The two sides are scheduled to play another international friendly match on November 16 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Karanjit Singh, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury.

Defenders: Jaspal Singh, Sameer Naik, Mahesh Gawli, Debabrata Roy, Anwar Ali, Syed Rahim Nabi, Gourmangi Singh.

Midfielders: Baldeep Singh, Rocus Lamare, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Francis Fernandes, Climax Lawrence, Anthony Periera, Clifford Miranda, Sk Jewel Raja, Steven Dias, Lalrindika Ralte.

Forwards: Baljit Singh Sahni, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sushil Singh, Joaquim Abranches, Sunil Chhetri. (PTI)

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