India suffer first defeat in Portugal training tour

New Delhi: Indian national football team
succumbed to its first defeat during the ongoing two-month
training tour of Portugal after it went down 0-1 to a local
third division side Sintrense in the fourth practice match at

Bob Houghton`s boys conceded the only goal of the match
in the 40th minute and were unable to find an equaliser
thereafter at the Sporting Clube Academy training ground at
Lisbon yesterday.

Once again Houghton started with Abhishek Yadav and
Mohammed Rafi as the two strikers up front but the duo found
it difficult to get going and were also let down by the

Like previous three games, Houghton made several changes
at the breather with as many as nine substitutions taking
place. Goalkeeper Subrata Paul and winger Clifford Miranda
were the only two players to complete the 90 minutes.

After the change of ends, India came out attacking in
search of an equaliser but failed to find the back of the
rival net.

The visitor`s best effort came in the 65th minute through
Baljit Sahni, whose powerful shot rattled the crossbar.

India had earlier beaten Portuguese third division sides
Desportivo das Caldas (4-1) and Desportivo Monsanto (6-2) in
their first two practice matches during the first half of
their tour at Vieria de Leiria, a small town between Lisbon
and Porto.

The Indians then shifted their base to the training
centre of the Sporting Clube Academy from August 1 for another
another one-month training.

They started the second phase of their training tour on a
positive note, beating Portuguese second division side
Atletico Clube 1-0 in their third practice game.

The Indian squad will be strengthened by the return of
captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who will be back after treating his
thyroid problem in Kolkata, and Sunil Chhetri who has been
released by his Major League Soccer club Kanasas City Wizards.



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