India look to bounce back in friendly match against Namibia
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 16:28
New Delhi: India would look to bounce back after their back-to-back losses against Thailand when they take on an understrength and underprepared Namibia in their international friendly football match here on Wednesday.

Bob Houghton's side lost 0-1 in Bangkok and 1-2 here on September 4 and 8 respectively and they would look to salvage some pride with a good performance against the African side, ranked 23 places above them in the FIFA charts at 115th, and who have left out at least half a dozen first team players.

Despite dominating for major parts in the two matches against Thailand, it won't be easy for Houghton's side to eke out a win or even a draw unless they pulled up their socks and improve their sharpness upfront.

India had been able to park the ball in the opposition half for long periods in the two matches against Thailand but their undoing has been that they could rarely penetrate the rival penalty box. Either the goal bearing passes did not come from their midfielders or the strikers lacked finishing touches.

Houghton had to bring in regular captain Bhaichung Bhutia in the last 20 minutes of the match here despite the skipper lacking in match fitness due to thyroid illness.

The introduction of the 'Sikkimese Sniper' saw a lot of shots at the Thai goal with none finding the target.

With rookie striker Mohammed Rafi unimpressive in the second match against Thailand and winger Steven Dias suffering a minor fracture on the rib in the same game, Houghton will ring in some changes in the midfield and upfront for tomorrow's game.

Mumbai FC striker Abhishek Yadav will start along with Sunil Chhetri, with Bhutia coming in as late second-half substitution.

With senior player Renedy Singh also down with a hamstring injury, Clifford Miranda will start as left winger with Anthony Pereira switching to right flank.

"Abhishek and Chhetri will start. Abhishek has played well in Portugal and I have never seen him in better form as he is now," Houghton said.


First Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 16:28

Tag: NamibiaIndia
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