The Indian football team will be taking on their arch-rivals in Pakistan in the semi-final of the SAFF Cup 2018.
India registered back-to-back victories against Sri Lanka and Maldives that helped them book a semi-final spot and a clash with Pakistan. This game will be played on Wednesday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Coach Stephen Constantine has been given the job to make sure his group of players don’t get emotionally involved while the feisty build up to this encounter begins. He has claimed it to be ‘just another match’ and won’t be making a fuss by over-preparing.
“We are aware of the contest. But that is nothing different. It’s just another match. We can’t let the occasion get over us and hopefully, we will beat them to advance to the final,” Constantine said speaking to the media on Monday.
India and Pakistan last met five years ago in 2013 where the Blue Tigers came out on top and won via a solitary goal advantage.
In fact, Pakistan made their way into the final-four of SAFF Cup after 13 long years but the odds are in the favour of India to win this game who are the seven-time champions of this tournament as well.
Meanwhile, coach Constantine also has lauded another fellow neighbour Nepal for their achievement in the footballing world. They will be taking on the Maldives in the other semi-final of the tournament.
“Nepal have played some stupendous football and they have deservingly reached the semis. Hopefully, we get a win against Pakistan and face Nepal in the final,” he added.
Manvir Singh, who won the award of the most valuable player for a stellar performance against the Maldives will be leading the Indian charge for the eighth title.
Goalkeepers: Vishal Kaith, Kamaljit Singh, Sukhdev Patil
Defenders: Davinder Singh, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sarthak Golui, Subhasish Bose, Mohd. Sajid Dhot, Jerry Lalrinzuala
Midfielders: Nikhil Poojary, Vinit Rai, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Vignesh D
Forwards: Sumit Passi, Hitesh Sharma, Manvir Singh, Farukh Choudhary
Head coach: Stephen Constantine