New Delhi: A youthful Indian team will take on higher ranked Puerto Rico in an international friendly match in Mumbai today.
Here's everything you need to know about the match:
The two sides have never met in the past. But the team from CONCACAF confederation will start as the favourites thanks to their close proximity to other global heavyweights from their part of the world — not necessarily to their confederation, and of course their higher raking position.
Stephen Constantine's side is ranked 152, 38 places below the Puerto Ricans.
But the visiting team already got into a trouble, a rather self inflicting one, with their top attacking players Hector Ramos, Jorge Rivera and Joseph Marrero not playing today.
The reported reason is, they missed the connecting flight from New York to Mumbai on Thursday.
Besides, with little time to acclimatized, Carlos Garcia Cantarero's side will find it all the more difficult to perform to it's best.
And that's where a hungry Indian side will look to hit.
Thirteen out of the 24 players are under 23, this is just the start for yet another rebuilding project, which Constantine and his bosses at AIFF have been harping about. And a win today, will give that dream a real push towards realization — that of India becoming, at least a competitive team at global stage.
Also, a win over a higher ranked team always gives good FIFA ranking points.
With today's match, Mumbai's 61-year-long wait for an international match will be over. Last time the Indian financial capital hosted an international game was in February 1955.
India: Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (C), Amrinder Singh, Rino Anto, Sandesh Jhingan, Arnab Mondal, Keegan Pereira, Chinglensana Konsham Singh, Pritam Kotal, Narayan Das, Fulganco Cardozo, Vinit Rai, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Pronay Halder, Jackichand Singh, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Bikash Jairu, Rowllin Borges, Alwyn George, Germanpreet Singh, Mohammed Rafique, Seityasen Singh, Arjun Tudu, Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi, Halicharan Narzary, Daniel Lalhimpuia.
Puerto Rico: Christofer Alexander Echevarria Del Valle, Johnny Santana Ramirez, Joan Sebastian Morales Feliciano, Juan Gabriel Velez Lago, Emmanuel Alejandro D'Andrea Yepez, Juan Antonio Agustin Coca Nogueras, Marcos Junior Martinez Amaro, Elliot M Velez Lago, Andres Nicolas Cabrero Gomez, Emanuel Miguel Benedetto Sanchez, Micheal Anthony Ramon Ramos, Javier Orlando Lalondriz Fernandez, Alexis Rivera Curet, Jacob Rafael Conde, Karlos Francisco Ferrer Mojica, Jose A Martinez.
TV Listings: Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2
Date: September 3
Time: Kick-off 8:00 PM IST
Venue: Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai