India face Malaysia in second friendly tie

Kolkata: After sharing honours in the first of the two-match international football friendly series in Guwahati, hosts India and Malaysia will meet for the concluding tie to clinch the issue at the floodlit Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Tuesday.

Indian coach Savio Medeira said his boys were fit, but a little tired due to the ongoing I-League, while the Malaysians have finished their domestic fixtures.

Indian team preferred to have light practice session at the stadium under flood lights after attending a motivational talk session in the morning.

Medeira said India will have an edge because of the turf.

But he admitted that the Indian players were having adjusment problem as they had little time to practice together.

"However I hope we have a fair chance of winning the match tomorrow provided my players are able to perform with the right attitude and convert their chances," he said, adding that the deep defence, midfield and upfront would have to perform better tomorrow.

"Moreover we`ll have to keep strict vigil on willy Malaysian striker Shafiq Rahim as he is the livewire in their attack and very opportunistic," the Indian coach said.

Medeira said that there would be some changes in the team tomorrow.

He said that Indian players, after this match, would reach Goa to play another international friendly against Zambia.

The friendly matches against Malaysia and Zambia would be a good preparation for the forthcoming SAFF Cup in Delhi from December 02.

After the Zambia match, the players would undergo a coaching camp for a week at Goa and reach Delhi on November 30 for the SAFF Cup.

Malaysian coach Datuk Rajagopal said they were exited to play in the huge stadium, but expressed his worry over the field as his boys were not used to playing on artificial turf.

"It is not scientific to play soccer in this turf. India will have an edge tomorrow because of the turf," he said.

Though Malaysian players are not tired, they are out of practice as they finished their home season on October 29.

"Indian team have a momentum, they are a determined lot and aggressive."

However, all players in the team were fit, he said adding that if players could adjust to the ground and maintained the form they displayed in the earlier match, there was a fare chance of winning the series.

The Malaysian team had a practice session in the stadium.


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