Indian footballers leave for AFC Challenge Cup
New Delhi: A 23-member Indian national football team left here for Kathmandu to participate in the AFC Challenge Cup which starts on March 8.
India have been clubbed with North Korea, Philippines and Tajikistan in Group B, while Group A consists of hosts Nepal, Maldives, Palestine and Turkmenistan.
The winner of the tournament will earn a ticket to play in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
India play their first match against Tajikistan on March 9.
Despite being drawn in the `Group of Death`, national coach Savio Medeira sounded optimistic.
"We are in a tough group for sure but are confident of defending the title. The team is the right blend of youth and experienced players," he said.
Striker Sunil Chhetri, who had scored a hat-trick against Tajikistan to win the 2008 edition of the tournament, said, "We are a capable side with a lot of potential. We will go all out to attain our goal for our fans."
Goalkeepers: Karanjit Singh, Subhasish Roychowdhury, Arindam Bhattacharya.
Defenders: Nirmal Chhetri, Raju Gaikwad, Sameer Naik, Gouramangi Singh, Anwar Ali, Kinsukh Debnath, Syed Rahim Nabi, Gurjinder Singh.
Midfielders: Adil Khan, Anthony Pereira, Reisangmi Vashum, Rocus Lamare, Francis Fernandes, Jewel Raja, Lenny Rodrigues, Lalrindika Ralte.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Sushil Singh, C S Sabeeth, Joaquim Abranches.