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Six U-23 players named in Indian squad for Macau match

Six players from the AFC U-23 campaign in Doha last month were on Thursday named in the 24-member squad for India’s AFC Asian Cup Qualifier football match against Macau on September 5.

The squad will depart for Macau from Mumbai via Bangkok on Friday.

India currently stay on top of Group A with six points, courtesy back-to-back victories against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic.

However, national coach Stephen Constantine felt there was “no reason to underestimate Macau as a team”.

“Macau will be playing at home and in front of their home crowd. There’s always a marked difference between playing at home and playing an away match but we are aware of the challenge,” Constantine said.

The Indian team has been camping in Mumbai since August 12 during which it played two International matches against Mauritius and St Kitts and Nevis in the tri-nation football tournament as part of the preparation.

“The matches provided us the much needed match practice ahead of our challenge against Macau,” said the coach.

Indian football legend I M VIjayan, who will also be travelling to Macau as an observer, said the “team looks to be in great shape”.

“The body language is positive but ahead of such matches, there’s always a tendency of taking it a bit lightly against lower ranked opponents. The boys need to keep working hard on the ground against Macau,” he stated.

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