India takes on Singapore in a FIFA date friendly
Singapore: High on confidence after their recent Nehru Cup triumph, India take on Singapore in a rare international football friendly on a FIFA date, which will also be the first away match under coach Wim Koevermans, here tomorrow.
Having successfully begun his stint at the helm of affairs with a title win in the Nehru Cup last month, Koevermans would want to continue to maintain the momentum and collect some valuable ranking points tomorrow at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
Being a match on a FIFA date, Koevermans has a full squad available to pick unlike the past wrangling between the AIFF and the clubs on release of players for such games.
A win tomorrow for 168th ranked Indians against their opponents six place higher will be a good chance for them to stop the slide in the FIFA ladder which they have been experiencing despite the Nehru Cup win.
Singapore will be without some key players, including regular captain Shahril Ishak, but it won`t be easy for Koeverman`s men who have tasted success mostly on home soil.
India and Singapore have played 15 times against each other with the former having won seven matches while India were victorious on six occasions. The last the two sides met was in 2004 when Singapore won 2-0 in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying match.
Koevermans, himself, knows that it won`t be easy against Singapore who were playing the match as preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup.
"It`s nice to get to play a match on a FIFA date. We look to improve ourselves and are looking forward to a good match. It will be a difficult one," Koevermans said in the pre-match press conference.
"We have had a look at Singapore in a video session. They have the home advantage. But we play every game intending to win it and we will want to win this too. But as I said, it?s not easy," he said.
Captain Sunil Chhetri said the team was excited about playing here.
"We are excited to come here and play. Our last tournament was a memorable one. But that's past. Now it's up to us to take up the challenge," Chhetri said.
Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic, meanwhile, said that the visitors would be tough customers, especially captain Chhetri.
"India come into the match as a confident team after their performance in the Nehru Cup. Our primary plan will be to stop this man," said Avramovic while pointing to Chhetri.
The Singapore team has quite a few foreign-origin players -two Chinese, one Australian, one British, an African and two Serbians.
Match Starts: 5.15pm.