Stephen Constantine: ‘Not taking Macau lightly’

With a 24-member squad, India national football coach is upbeat about their AFC Asian Cup qualifier campaign on September 5.

Six players from India’s AFC U-23 campaign in Doha were named in the 24-member squad for the forthcoming AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Macau on September 5.   -  AIFF

Six players from India’s AFC U-23 campaign in Doha were named in the 24-member squad for the forthcoming AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Macau on September 5.

Currently on top of Group A with six points, after consecutive victories against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic, India coach Stephen Constantine said that they will not take Macau lightly. “Macau will be playing at home and in front of their home crowd. There’s always a marked difference between playing at home and playing an away match but we are aware of the challenge,” he said.

The team has been training in Mumbai since August 12. They even played a couple of international matches against Mauritius and St. Kitts and Nevis in the Tri-Nation Football Series as part of the preparation.

“The matches provided the much-needed match practice ahead of our challenge against Macau,” Constantine added.

Legendary Footballer IM Vijayan who will also be travelling to Macau as an observer said the “team looks to be in great shape.”

“The body language is positive but ahead of such matches, there’s always a tendency of taking it a bit lightly against lower-ranked opponents. The boys need to keep working hard on the ground against Macau,” he stated.

The team will leave on September 1.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subrata Paul, Albino Gomes.

Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Lalruatthara, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Arnab Mondal, Salam Ranjan Singh, Narayan Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala.

Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rowllin Borges, Md. Rafique, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Halicharan Narzary.

Forwards: Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Balwant Singh.

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