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India eye semifinal spot in SAFF football

By The Assam Tribune
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NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (PTI): Eyeing a semifinal berth after drubbing Bhutan 5-0, a buoyant India would look to continue the winning momentum when they take on Sri Lanka in their last group A encounter of the SAFF Football Championships here tomorrow.

A draw against the island nation, the highest-ranked side in the tournament at 142, would be enough for the 162nd placed Indian side to sail into the semifinal stage.

A defeat, which seems unlikely at this stage given the way Sri Lanka played in their 1-3 defeat to Afghanistan, may end India�s hopes of defending the title they won in Dhaka two years ago.

Coach Savio Medeira is not likely to make too many changes to the squad that thrashed Bhutan, but there is a possibility of experienced right winger Steven Dias returning to the playing XI.

According to Savio, Dias, who had a rather ordinary outing in the opener against Afghanistan, was rested and not dropped for the Bhutan fixture yesterday.

India brought in Nirmal Chhetri in place of an injured Samir Naik, with Anthony Pereira replacing Dias yesterday.

Bhutan do not have the best of strikers but with the Indian citadel, manned by stoppers Gouramangi Singh and Mahesh Gawli and Nirmal Chhetri and Syed Rahim Nabi, maintaining a clean slate against the 198-ranked nation, Savio may be tempted to retain the same combination.

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India eye semifinal spot in SAFF football

NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (PTI): Eyeing a semifinal berth after drubbing Bhutan 5-0, a buoyant India would look to continue the winning momentum when they take on Sri Lanka in their last group A encounter of the SAFF Football Championships here tomorrow.

A draw against the island nation, the highest-ranked side in the tournament at 142, would be enough for the 162nd placed Indian side to sail into the semifinal stage.

A defeat, which seems unlikely at this stage given the way Sri Lanka played in their 1-3 defeat to Afghanistan, may end India�s hopes of defending the title they won in Dhaka two years ago.

Coach Savio Medeira is not likely to make too many changes to the squad that thrashed Bhutan, but there is a possibility of experienced right winger Steven Dias returning to the playing XI.

According to Savio, Dias, who had a rather ordinary outing in the opener against Afghanistan, was rested and not dropped for the Bhutan fixture yesterday.

India brought in Nirmal Chhetri in place of an injured Samir Naik, with Anthony Pereira replacing Dias yesterday.

Bhutan do not have the best of strikers but with the Indian citadel, manned by stoppers Gouramangi Singh and Mahesh Gawli and Nirmal Chhetri and Syed Rahim Nabi, maintaining a clean slate against the 198-ranked nation, Savio may be tempted to retain the same combination.

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