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India vs UAE World Cup Qualifier : India has a mountain to climb

India go into the second-leg of their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier against the United Arab Emirates at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi tomorrow with a 0-3 deficit. The UAE were favoured to go through when we went into this ...

India go into the second-leg of their 2014 FIFA World Cup – Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier against the United Arab Emirates at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi tomorrow with a 0-3 deficit. The UAE were favoured to go through when we went into this tie, now it is even more likely with India having to score at least three goals to get into extra-time and if they concede it is nearly over.

India will have to forget what had happened on Saturday at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain City. In only four minutes left back Debabrata Roy and goalkeeper Subrata Pal were send off by the Qatari referee, but India only conceded one goal from open play in the 60 plus minutes with nine men. That is an achievement in itself, but India will tomorrow will have to push for an early goal and ensure that they don’t concede early. One UAE goal and India have to score five and that looks unlikely.

It’s surely Advantage UAE, then they go with a three-goal cushion into the tie, which by Team India Coach Armando Colaco’s confession “is hard to overturn.”

Nevertheless, as Armando Colaco pointed out, “India have little option but to go all out in the second-leg.”

And added, “We need to attack but our defence needs to stay composed. At any stage, we can never afford to concede.”

Armando will have to make forced changes. Karanjit Singh will replace Subrata Pal in goal, Syed Rahim Nabi moves into the left back position while Clifford Miranda takes his position on the left wing. Sandip Nandy and Harmanjot Singh Khabra will be the replacements for the two suspended players in the squad.

“It’s a tough mountain to climb,” Colaco maintained. “They are a quality side. But we are ready for the challenge,” he said. Captain Climax Lawrence added, “Everything is possible in football.” The fans will surely take inspiration from Climax’s statement for sure and news out of Delhi is the Ambedkar Stadium could see a full house.

The UAE’s Slovenian Coach Srecko Katanec said they stay aware of “India’s style of play.”

“I am aware they would hit us hard in the first 15 minutes. But sustaining the same momentum is tough in modern football.”

In the meantime, the recent downpour in the Capital prompts everyone to look upto the skies. Forecasts suggest the heavens may open up again on Thursday, something which Arab teams don’t like as they aren’t used to Monsoon conditions in the desert.

The match will be live on TenAction+ with their coverage starting at 18.30 IST, while Bengali channel 24 Ghanta will also broadcast the match live which kicks-off at 19.00 IST.

Likely INDIA Starting XI

23-Karanjit Singh; 16-Samir Naik, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 3-Raju Eknath Gaekwad, 22-Syed Rahim Nabi; 23-Steven Benedic Dias, 8-Climax Lawrence, 30-Mehtab Hussain, 15-Clifford Miranda; 10-Jeje Lalpekhlua, 11-Sunil Chhetri

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