AFC Challenge Cup: India enjoy psychological advantage against TajikistanMarch 8th, 2012 - 10:33 pm ICT by IANS
Kathmandu, March 8 (IANS) India will enjoy the psychological advantage when they face Tajikistan in their first match of the AFC Challenge Cup football tournament here Friday.
Tajikistan (140th) are ranked 14 places ahead India, who are 154th in the FIFA rankings. But having beaten them 1-4 in the final of the 2008 edition, India enjoy the psychological edge when they face off at the Dashrath Stadium.
India captain and ace striker Sunil Chettri also has fond memories of the match in Delhi having scored a sensational hat-trick in his home ground.
Chief coach Savio Medeira said the team is raring to go.
“The team is raring to go against Tajikistan. All the boys are charged up for the match. I am confident they will come out with their best for the clash and we will be able to secure all the points. We will fight till the last second of the match. We would not give any chance to our rivals,” said Medeira.
Chettri said the team is determined to win the tournament and qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup to be held in Australia.
“We have come over here with only one objective and that is to win at any cost. We won’t leave any stone unturned to achieve our goal. All the players including me would try to repeat our performance of the SAFF Championship,” said the India captain.
Karanjit Singh will be the first choice keeper while Samir Naik and Syed Rahim Nabi are likely to be the two wing-backs with Gourmangi Singh and Raju Gaikwad the two stopper-backs.
The four-man midfield is likely to be manned by Anthony Pereira, Adil Khan, Rocus Lamara and Francis Fernandes while Chhetri and Sushil Singh are likely to start upfront.
Tajikistan would be wary of the Indian side. They are heavily dependent on Yusuf Rabiev who is the all-time top-goal scorer for Tajikistan.
- SAFF Cup: India sans Sameer Naik in must-win match against Bhutan - Dec 04, 2011
- Sunil Chettri to lead India in AFC Challenge Cup - Mar 05, 2012
- Arnab, Clifford ruled out from AFC Challenge Cup - Mar 02, 2012
- Chettri, Jeje to miss friendly against Zambia - Nov 28, 2011
- SAFF Cup: India need draw against Sri Lanka for semi-final berth - Dec 06, 2011
- Climax was rested, not dropped: Savio - Feb 01, 2012
- SAFF Cup football: India slam five against hapless Bhutan - Dec 05, 2011
- SAFF Cup: Tough for India against Maldives in semifinal - Dec 08, 2011
- Confident of a good show in AFC Challenge Cup: Medeira - Mar 07, 2012
- SAFF final: Afghanistan will not be easy meat for India - Dec 10, 2011
- Chettri brace gives India 3-2 win over Malaysia - Nov 17, 2011
- Hapless India go down 0-5 to Zambia - Nov 29, 2011
- SAFF Cup: India coach rejects favourites tag - Dec 01, 2011
- 'SAFF Cup for U-23 if seniors get 12 internationals' - Dec 12, 2011
- SAFF Cup: India beat Sri Lanka 3-0, face Maldives in semifinal - Dec 07, 2011
Tags: adil khan, afc challenge cup, asian cup, chief coach, cup football, fifa rankings, fond memories, football tournament, hat trick, kathmandu, lamara, midfield, naik, psychological advantage, psychological edge, rahim, raju, rocus, sushil, top goal scorer