India ready for Qatar test, Subrata to lead
As preparations for their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away tie against the United Arab Emirates on July 23 and 28, India later today face Qatar in Doha in what is set to be a tough encounter for the new look India side.Once more Doha's...
As preparations for their 2014 FIFA World Cup – Asian Round 2 home-and-away tie against the United Arab Emirates on July 23 and 28, India later today face Qatar in Doha in what is set to be a tough encounter for the new look India side.
Once more Doha’s Al Sadd Stadium will play hosts to an Indian team this year. In January India played two of their 2011 AFC Asian Cup matches against Australia and Bahrain at the venue, then last month Qatar faced India in the 2012 London Olympics qualifiers. India lost all three matches, but never gave up in any of those games.
Ahead of the game interim coach Armando Colaco said, “A lot has to be done and achieved in three weeks of training. But I’m happy the manner we played our first match against Maldives. I’d request all to go through the recording of the match and judge the manner the boys played.”
“However, there’s no denying there’s a lot to be done; achieved,” Armando added knowing about the task ahead of his team.
After Sunil Chhetri was captain against the Maldives last Sunday, tonight goalkeeper Subrata Pal will be given the task of leading the team onto the pitch.
And talking about it Subrata said, “On one side it’s just another match in the life of a footballer. On the other side, it’s an honour which every player dreams of – an inspiration to do better.”
“My dream to is to serve my country to the best of my abilities and as long as possible,” Subrata added.
Rotating the captaincy is something Armando is doing to strengthen the players and their own self-belief. He is trying to get the players to understand what system he would like them to play, but he is not adverse of trying out something against Qatar, if it helps in the matches against the United Arab Emirates.
Armando will most likely have to make one change as Steven Benedic Dias isn’t fully fit and Lalrindika Ralte could get his first start for the India Senior team otherwise the team remains the same.
Meanwhile Qatar are currently coached by Serbian Milovan Rajevac, the man who nearly took Ghana to the 2010 FIFA World Cup semifinals. The team is mostly the same as the one what reached the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup in January at home.
Uruguay-born Sebastian Soria remains the most dangerous man upfront and it will be a real test for the new Indian defence led by Gouramangi Singh against a strong opponent, who plays a similar style of football as the UAE.
The kick-off is slated for 21.00 IST.
Likely INDIA Starting XI
1-Subrata Pal [C]; 16-Samir Naik, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 3-Raju Eknath Gaekwad, 2-Debabrata Roy; 6-Lalrindika Ralte, 8-Climax Lawrence, 30-Mehtab Hussain, 22-Syed Rahim Nabi; 10-Jeje Lalpekhlua, 11-Sunil Chhetri