Friendly Preview: India vs. Pakistan
The Blue Tigers take on the Pak Shaheens in their 2nd and final friendly match in Bangalore, with the hosts having narrowly edged the visitors 1-0 in the opening tie.
Backed by a vociferous crowd at the Bangalore Stadium, India narrowly edged their opponents 1-0 and had to thank Pakistan’s front-line for missing several chances in the game. Nonetheless, the hosts did look more comfortable on the ball and will look to continue that trend in the second game as well.
The Shaheens played well in patches and some of their players did have a great game, but as a team, Pakistan struggled to create chances. Kaleemullah (FC Dordoi Bishkek) and Mohammad Riaz (K-Electric) were arguably presented with the best chances of the game, but they failed to find the back of the net.
Saddam Hussain also had a terrific outing but the Dordoi Bishkek midfielder needs support from his fellow players to get the ball rolling in the attacking third.
Since Robin Singh was sent off in the last game, the Bengaluru FC forward will sit out the game, meaning that captain Sunil Chhetri will have to bear the burden up-front. Coach Wim Koevermans will also be sweating on the fitness of Sandesh Jhingan, who had to be subbed due to cramps.
However, the Dutchman will be pleased with the performance of young midfielder Lalrindika Ralte and will hope that the Tigers can replicate their earlier win again.
Coach Shamlan’s young team performed better than expected and the tactician will be looking to seal his visit to India with a victory in the final game. While majority of the team is expected to remain the same, young forward Mansoor Khan (PAF) could be given a start alongside Kaleemullah instead of Abdul Salam (K-Electric).
FC Dordoi Bishkek’s pacy winger Mohammad Adil is also reportedly fit for duty and could be in the line-up, with either Mohammad Riaz or Bilawal-ur-Rehman (KRL) making the way for him.
India: Sunil Chhetri
The skipper made the difference by diverting Robin Singh’s header into the goal and was arguably India’s best performer in attack. And with Pakistan’s defence looking particularly weak, he will be looking to get on the score-sheet again.
Pakistan: Saddam Hussain
The talented midfielder showed class and vision on the pitch last time out and with Pakistan’s struggling to keep the ball at times, his role becomes more important than ever if the Shaheens are to get away with a win on Wednesday.
India 2-1 Pakistan
The match will kick-off at 3 PM PST and will be telecasted LIVE on GEO Super. LIVE updates can be found on FootballPakistan’s website, facebook and twitter pages.