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We have a chance against Iran: Paul

Indian captain Subrata Paul has no illusions about Asian heavyweight Iran’s strength but said that his team can spring a surprise in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying round clash here on September 8 as anything can happen in a football match.

“Iran is the top Asian team, but football is a very unpredictable sport. Anything can happen. Who knew Brazil would concede seven goals against Germany in a World Cup match. It happened. If we can give 100 per cent, I think we have a chance,” Paul told PTI after the team training session at Srikanteerava Stadium here.

The 23-member Indian squad arrived here yesterday for the Iran match. The team trained at DSK Shivajians in Pune from August 24 prior to arriving here. The Iranians would be landing here tomorrow.

Paul said he expects a good show from the team in the match against Iran.

“I am not expecting anything high from my team-mates, that we are going to win or going for a draw. We will give our best. Show you some good football – that I can guarantee,” he said.

“The players will go all out, fight for the team and points,” Paul said.

Asked how he perceives Iran as a defensive or an attacking side, Paul said, “It does not matter much. What matters is we are playing Iran and they are playing India. However, the boys are ready for the battle.”

Paul said the Indian team is free from injuries except for Holicharan Narzary who is set to undergo surgery.

“No injuries. All are fit. The only unlucky boy is Holicharan. He has already left the camp and is undergoing surgery,” he said.

Iran are presently ranked 40 and India at 155 in FIFA rankings.

Commenting on the training stint in Pune, Paul said, “The DSK campus has everything on one campus. The swimming pool, the gym, along with two training grounds. In my years of playing experience I have never seen such wonderful facilities at the DSK.