Margao: Goa XI will go as underdogs when they clash with Zambia on Saturday in the first friendly match in celebration of the golden jubilee of the Goa Football Association, at Nehru Stadium here.
Given that the visitors who are ranked 80th, much higher than that of India, Goa XI coach Armando Colaco knows that it will be tough to compete against them especially with cream of the Goan players doing duty for the national team. He has five foreigners in the starting line up to match their rivals who will play an attacking game.
"It`s long time since we are playing against a foreign team. We are going to start underdog. It`s going to be a learning experience for our boys and am happy that our boys get a chance to play against a foreign team who are highly skillful. My boys are all geared up and will put up a good fight and play entertaining game to keep the crowd happy," stated Colaco.
The visitors who had a practice session twice after coming here would take both the friendlies seriously as they want to select the right combination for the Africa Nations Cup 2012 to be held in January in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
The Chipolopolo coach Herve Renard who took Zambia to the quarter-finals of the 2010 Africa Nations Cup where they lost to Nigeria said many of their players could not come as they are busy playing in leagues across the world, notable among them are Chris Kotongo and James Chamago who play in the Chinese top League, and Felix Kotongo who plays with the famous Asian team Al-Ittihad.
The players from this team are all regulars who will have to fight to find a place in the first eleven and obviously they will give their best and I am looking forward for an entertaining game.
The ground is very good and the climate ideal which will suit us," stated Renard.