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Koevermans makes two changes to India squad for Yemen friendly

India head coach Wim Koevermans has made two changes to the squad that faced Singapore last month, for the international friendly against Yemen on November 14 in Guwahati.

East Bengal striker Manandeep Singh replaces Dempo’s Joaquim Abranches after missing out against Singapore due to injury, while Pailan Arrows skipper Shouvik Ghosh, who is yet to be capped at international level, has been included with East Bengal defender Raju Gaikwad dropping to the standbys list. Another Arrows youngster, Alwyn George, is the other uncapped player in the 20-man squad.

Koevermans has opted for a tried and tested lot as the India team, now like most nations worldwide, are assembling only 72 hours before an international match, and thus will have just two training sessions together.

This will be India’s second match after winning the Nehru Cup in September, and they will be looking to bounce back against Yemen, who are placed seven places higher at 162 in the FIFA Rankings, after losing 0-2 away at Singapore.

Guwahati will be hosting an international match only for the second time, having staged the 1-1 draw between India and Malaysia in November 2011.

India captain Sunil Chhetri, who is expected to join the team only on the 12th due to his club commitments with Sporting Lisbon ‘B’, was quoted saying, “Unless you play international friendlies, you cannot gauge where you stand. We stay grateful to AIFF for arranging two international friendlies in two months. It was a great feeling to have played in Guwahati in front of a full house against Malaysia last year. We expect another full house cheering for us against Yemen.”

Man amongst boys

With still one more round of I-League matches to be played before the match, Koevermans has also named 12 standbys.

That list is full of youngsters, barring 28-year-old Prayag United winger Shylo Malswamtluanga. The man from Mizoram has been included in the senior national set up for the first time since 2006, but still doesn’t have an international cap to his name.

“It’s a pleasant surprise. I am glad my performances has caught the attention of the national coach,” Malswamtluanga told Sportskeeda.

Young striker Dawson Fernandes of Sporting Clube de Goa has received their first-ever senior call-up.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Subrata Pal (Prayag United), Subhasish Roychowdhury (Dempo), Karanjit Singh (SalgaocaR).

Defenders: Nirmal Chettri (Mohun Bagan), Denzil Franco (Churchill Brothers), Gouramangi Singh (Prayag United), Gurwinder Singh (East Bengal), Shouvik Gosh (Pailan Arrows), Syed Rahim Nabi (Mohun Bagan).

Midfielders: Lenny Rodrigues (Churchill Brothers), Mehtab Hossain (East Bengal), Jewel Raja (Mohun Bagan), Francis Fernandes (Salgaocar), Alwyn George (Pailan Arrows), Anthony Pereira (Dempo), Sanju Pradhan (East Bengal), Clifford Miranda (Dempo).

Forwards: Robin Singh (East Bengal), Sunil Chhetri (Sporting Lisbon ‘B’), Manandeep Singh (East Bengal)

Standbys:

Goalkeeper: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (East Bengal)

Defenders: Gurjinder Singh (Pune FC), Raju Gaikwad (East Bengal), Rowilson Rodrigues (Dempo), Deepak Devrani (Pailan Arrows)

Midfielders: Pradeep Mohanraj (Air India), Romeo Fernandes (Dempo), Rocus Lamare (Salgaocar), Lalrindika Ralte (East Bengal), Shylo Malswamtluanga (Prayag United)

Forwards: Joaquim Abranches (Dempo), Dawson Fernandes (Sporting Clube de Goa)

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