It is a do or die match for us: HoughtonAugust 2nd, 2008 - 10:06 pm ICT by IANS
By Abhishek Roy
Hyderabad, Aug 2 (IANS) India’s football coach Bob Houhgton says his team has largely overcome injury worries, enabling him field his best eleven in the must-win last group match against Turkmenistan here Sunday to stay alive in the AFC Challenge Cup. Both India and Turkmenistan have four points each but the latter enjoys a better goal difference and leads Group A.
A win will help India move into the semi-finals of the tournament and a large victory margin will help them avoid the possibility of facing tournament favourites North Korea, who in all probability will top Group B. If India finish second, they may face the Koreans in the semi-finals.
For the moment, Houghton is not looking beyond Sunday’s match and is planning for nothing but a win against Turkmenistan at the Gachibowli Stadium.
“It is a do or die match for us and the boys are looking for a win. It will be tough but we can win if we play to our plan,” the coach told reporters after the team’s practice session at the Gymkhana Club in Secunderabad.
Turkmenistan are four spots below India at 158th in the FIFA rankings - but that doesn’t necessarily mean it would affect the outcome of Sunday’s game in India’s favour.
Houghton refused to reveal his strategy but he is known to have drawn up meticulous plans to stop Turkmenistan.
India will miss its two reliable defenders - Deepak Mondal and Mahesh Gawli.
Mondal, who suffered an injury in the first match against Afghanistan, has been ruled out of the tournament, while Gawli is not fully fit but may come in as a substitution during the game.
“Everyone in my team knows his role. I don’t think the absence of one or two players will make any difference,” he said.
Surkumar Singh, Anwar Ali, Gourmangi Singh and Sameer Naik will man the defence and Renedy Singh will be back in the midfield after being rested against Tajikistan.
Besides Renedy, Steven Dias, Climax Lawrence and N.P. Pradeep will be the other mid-fielders with Bhaichung Bhutia and Sunil Chettri upfront.
- SAFF Cup: India sans Sameer Naik in must-win match against Bhutan - Dec 04, 2011
- India must beat Sri Lanka to stay alive in Nehru Cup (Preview) - Aug 25, 2009
- India's Barcelona workout will be on test in Nehru Cup (Lead, Preview) - Aug 18, 2009
- India's Barcelona work-out will be on test in Nehru Cup (Preview) - Aug 18, 2009
- India must beat Turkmenistan in AFC Challenge Cup - Aug 02, 2008
- Armando drops Bhaichung along with 11 seniors from World Cup probables - Jun 02, 2011
- Purposeful India put it across Sri Lanka - Aug 26, 2009
- India register 1-0 win over over Atletico - Aug 05, 2010
- India have to raise their game to retain Nehru Cup (Preview) - Aug 30, 2009
- Injuries add to India's problems in Nehru Cup (Preview) - Aug 22, 2009
- Bhaichung to lead national football team in Asian Cup - Dec 27, 2010
- Wadoo, Pereira strike as India beat Namibia 2-0 (Lead) - Sep 15, 2010
- Climax was rested, not dropped: Savio - Feb 01, 2012
- India confident of qualifying for Asia Cup (Preview) - Aug 12, 2008
- Bhutia brace guides India to AFC Challenge Cup semis - Aug 03, 2008
Tags: abhishek, absence of one, afc challenge cup, anwar ali, coach bob, fielders, fifa rankings, football coach, goal difference, gymkhana club, india move, injury worries, mahesh, mondal, naik, practice session, pradeep, sameer, semi finals, victory margin