India name squad for football friendly against China

New Delhi: Indian men’s football team coach Stephen Constantine on Tuesday announced his 22-member squad for the team’s first-ever international fixture against China at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Suzhou city on October 13.

Constantine said Balwant Singh had to be dropped from the squad because of some unavoidable circumstances.

“As his passport will expire in less than six months, he was denied a Chinese visa,” he stated before the departure of the team.

Out of the 17 face-offs between India and China so far, the Red Dragons have won on 12 occasions. The rest of the five matches ended in a stalemate.

Constantine mentioned that although the match is labeled as a ‘friendly’, it was a serious affair for the entire team. “Friendly or no-friendly, it’s the Indian national team. It’s only a friendly game for the world but not for us,” he said.

The two national teams will lock horns after a gap of 21 years. In the last meeting, which took place in the Nehru Cup tournament in Kochi in 1997, China pipped India 2-1.
The 22-member squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Karanjit Singh.
Defenders – Pritam Kotal, Sarthak Golui, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Subhasish Bose, Narayan Das.

Midfielders – Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Pronay Halder, Rowllin Borges, Anirudh Thapa, Vinit Rai, Halicharan Narzary, Ashique Kuruniyan.
Forwards – Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi, Farukh Choudhary.