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Indian National Team lands in Kathmandu for SAFF Championship
PIC: AIFF MEDIA RELEASE
27.08.2013: AIFF MEDIA RELEASE : 20-member Indian squad for the 2013 SAFF Championship landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Tuesday (August 27). The squad reached Kathmandu from Bangalore via a connecting flight from Kolkata.
The Indian Team was greeted by a temperature of 22 degrees with clouds hovering overhead. "It has been drizzling but we haven't had any torrential downpour in Kathmandu in the past few days," an Official who had come to receive the Indian contingent at the Airport, informed.
Captain Sunil Chhetri felt the Tournament is evenly balanced. "We are the defending champions but there isn't any room for any complacency. We will be sticking to the strategies and taking one match at a time," Chhetri told the horde of journalists at the Airport.
Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua sounded a cautious note. "I have been a part of the triumphant squad twice in 2009 in Dhaka and 2011 in New Delhi. I want to make it three in a row but it's not that easy. In fact, it's very tricky. There are strong hurdles which we have to overcome. We will give out best," he told www.the-aiff.com.
Goalkeeper Sandip Nandy added: "It was an excellent feeling to win the SAFF Football in 2005 in Pakistan. I'm looking forward to the Tournament. We head into this Championship from Bangalore where we had a fruitful Camp for 10 days. We need to implement on the field all of what we have practiced."
There wasn't any practice session slated for the Team on Tuesday (August 27) and the first practice session will only be held on Wednesday (August 28). Pakistan have been the first Team to arrive in Kathmandu on August 25 followed by Bangladesh and Bhutan the next day.
India play their first match against Pakistan on September 1. For the complete fixtures of the SAFF Championship, please click on http://www.the-aiff.com/upcoming-fixtures.htm?tnmt_id=17
The 20-member squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Karanjit Singh, Sandip Nandy.
Defenders: Nirmal Chettri, Arnab Mondal, Gouramangi Singh, Raju Gaikwad, Sandesh Jhingan, Mohanraj Nalappan.
Midfielders: Syed Rahim Nabi, Mehtab Hossain, Arata Izumi, Lenny Rodriguez, Alwyn George, Jewel Raja Shaikh, Francis Fernandes.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Dawson Fernandes, Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Head Coach: Wim Koevermans.