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India Vs Maldives Football Friendly Preview

In a friendly at Male tonight interim national coach Armando Colaco makes his international debut with India taking on their neighbours the Maldives. It is a preparatory match for both sides ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 qualifiers...

Final Score 1-1 : Report here

In a friendly at Male tonight interim national coach Armando Colaco makes his international debut with India taking on their neighbours the Maldives. It is a preparatory match for both sides ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup – Asian Round 2 qualifiers.

And the Dempo coach looks forward to the match. “It’s exciting; there’s more responsibility. The passion for one’s country knows no bounds,” Armando said. But the seasoned coach that he is, Armando stays aware passion alone won’t win him a football match.

“We need to finalise our Playing XI before the World Cup double-leg Qualifiers against UAE,” Armando added, hinting that he will try out his options against his first match as National Coach.

His rival counterpart, Maldives’ Argentinean Coach Diego Cruciani, in any case, isn’t too pleased in playing India. “The India friendly is not my best wish to play. I would prefer a much more difficult opponent abroad to put our plans against Iran. At home we will certainly play to win,” he was quoted as saying in several reports.

The gentleman that he is, Armando refused to be drawn into a verbal duel. “We have worked hard at the camp. The boys are raring to go,” is all what he had to say. Though the boys stayed tightlipped, Cruciani’s comments didn’t please the boys at all. Armando won’t mind that for sure.

Keeping the boys for the UAE match stays the team management’s biggest challenge. “But we are taking one match at a time,” Armando said.

However, India’s record against Maldives hasn’t been that impressive in recent times. In the last three matches, Maldives beat India on two occasions. Was that the reason for Cruciani’s comments? The boys would be able to answer it better, especially as Iran’s Coach Carlos Quiroz is set to watch from the stands.

India are likely to go into the match with a new formation with players like Baichung Bhutia, Renedy Singh and N.P. Pradeep missing. Raju Gaekwad and Peter Carvalho set to make their full international debut, while Mehtab Hussain makes a comeback over five years after his last game for India.

The match is set to kick-off at 21.00 IST in Male.

INDIA
Likely Starting Eleven

Subrata Pal; Samir Naik, Gouramangi Singh, Raju Eknath Gaekwad, Debabrata Roy; Steven Benedic Dias, Climax Lawrence, Mehtab Hussain, Syed Rahim Nabi; Peter Carvalho, Sunil Chhetri


Live Commentary Available here http://www.maldivesoccer.net/v4/webcast/cast.php

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