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2012 AFC Challenge Cup: India arrive in Nepal

The Indian national football team has arrived in Kathmandu for the upcoming 2012 AFC Challenge Cup, which will be held in Nepal from March 8 to 19. The Bhangra Boys were welcomed by All Nepal Football Association officials at Kathmandu's Tribhuwan Inte...

The Indian national football team has arrived in Kathmandu for the upcoming 2012 AFC Challenge Cup, which will be held in Nepal from March 8 to 19. The Bhangra Boys were welcomed by All Nepal Football Association officials at Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport.

On arrival the luggage of some Indian footballers was missing at the Tribhuwan International Airport, but the luggage was later tracked and then send to the Team India hotel.

India have been drawn in the tougher Group B along with defending champions North Korea, former champions Tajikistan and the Philippines, while Group A consists of hosts Nepal, Maldives, Palestine and Turkmenistan. The winner of the tournament will earn a ticket to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia. India launch their campaign in the tournament against Tajikistan on March 9

Despite being drawn in the Group of Death, national coach Savio Medeira sounded optimistic. “We are in a tough group for sure but are confident of defending the title. The team is the right blend of youth and experienced players.”

AIFF Player-of-the-Year Sunil Chhetri, who had scored a hattrick against Tajikistan in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup final to guide India to the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, added, “We are a capable side with a lot of potential. We will go all out to attain our goal for our fans.”

INDIA

Goalkeepers
Arindam Bhattacharya (Churchill Brothers SC), Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (Dempo SC), Karanjit Singh (Salgaocar SC),

Defenders
Anwar (Mohun Bagan AC), Nirmal Chetri (East Bengal Club), Kingshuk Debnath (Mohun Bagan AC), Raju Eknath Gaikwad (East Bengal Club), Syed Rahim Nabi (Mohun Bagan AC), Sameer Subash Naik (Dempo SC), Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh (Churchill Brothers SC), Gurjinder Singh (Pune FC)

Midfielders
Francis Fernandes (Salgaocar SC), Adil Ahmed Khan (Sporting Clube de Goa), Rocus Lamare (Salgaocar SC), Anthony Pereira (Dempo SC), Jewel Raja Sheikh (Mohun Bagan AC), Lalrindika Ralte (Churchill Brothers SC), Lenny Rodrigues (Churchill Brothers SC), Reisangmi Vashum (East Bengal Club)

Forwards
Joaquim Santan Abranches (Dempo SC), Sunil Chhetri (Mohun Bagan AC), C.S. Sabeeth (Pailan Arrows), Sushil Kumar Singh (Shillong Lajong FC)

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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