KATHMANDU: India National Football team head Coach Savio Medeira knows Sunday’s encounter against Philippines in the Group B of the AFC Challenge Cup won’t be an easy task. Philippines who have also lost their first match against DPR Korea would be seeking redemption.
Savio also stays aware of the fact that he and the team carry the hopes of the entire Nation and any slip-up would see their Challenge Cup campaign crashing down.
“At times you don’t get the results which you strive for. But that won’t deter us to be committed for our future success. We will keep trying and give our 100 percent to get the desired result, we all are striving for,” Savio quipped.
“We had a spirited performance against Tajikistan. But we squandered some great chances to score in the first half. Hope things will improve in our next match,” added the Coach. “We need to believe in ourselves and keep on playing good football, the result will come,” continued Savio.
Star striker and the Captain of the side Sunil Chhetri remained optimistic of staging a comeback. “It’s going to be another tough match but we are ready and we should pull off a great result on Sunday. We stay focussed and would do whatever is expected of us.”
Some changes in the playing XI looks imminent. Changes in the midfield and upfront stay on Savio’s mind.
Meanwhile, Philippines who stay few notches below India in the FIFA ranking would be wary of Indian challenge. They also would be keen to change the past record as they have never managed to beat India.
Philippines have galaxy of stars in their squad. Their first goalkeeper plays for English Premier League side Fulham while most of the others play in Europe.
Head to Head:
India 5 (Subhas Bhowmick – 3, Shyam Thamp, Habib) Beat Philippines 0
Doha Pre-World Cup 1996
India 2 (Raman Vijayan, Bruno Coutinho) Beat Philippines 0
AFC Challenge Cup 2006
India 1 (Vimal Pariyar) d/w Philippines 1 (Mark Alvin Valeroso)
Total Matches: 3
India Won: 2 Philippines Won: Nil Drawn: 1
India Goals: 8 Phillipines Goals: 2
From the history book:
The only fixture between the two teams in AFC Challenge Cup ended in a draw.
Subhas Bhowmick (India) have scored the only hat-trick between the two sides.
By Upender Singh