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AIFF India U-19 face Felda test

The hosts have a single point from their first two away matches against Felda United and Chonburi FC (Thailand) and need to win the encounter to keep their hopes of progressing further in the tournament alive

VASCO: After going down fighting in their last away match, AIFF India U-19 side are confident of their first win when they lock horns with Felda United of Malaysia in the Asia Champions Trophy at Tilak Maidan here on Wednesday.

The hosts have a single point from their first two away matches against Felda United and Chonburi FC (Thailand) and need to win the encounter to keep their hopes of progressing further in the tournament alive.

Frenz United, also from Malaysia, is the fourth team in the group.

Talking to the media after a practice session on Tuesday, Lee Johnson, Head Coach of the Indian U-19 team, said: ‘We have three home matches to play and tomorrow we are playing the first of them. A win is important if we are to progress further.”

The team has been training hard at the Trinity Ground in Benaulim to identify and plug gaps in their play and correct mistakes they committed in their last two away matches.

“Some of the team members are out of action due to injuries and suspension, and we are going to replace them with players who have arrived yesterday after taking part in SAFF Cup,” Johnson said.

“The boys have given good account of themselves against the visitors in the away match and were unlucky for not collecting full points as they lacked sharpness.”

India lost their last match 2-4 against Chonburi FC and the coach blamed it on fatigue.

“The players travelled for 18 hours and got no rest as they played on the same day they reached Malaysia for the tournament,” he said.

“Felda will face the same situation as they will arrive here on the day of the match and hardly get any rest,” stated Johnson.

The tournament started on August 19 in Malaysia. The teams will play on home and away basis and the top two from the group stage will progress to the knock-out rounds.

India started their campaign with a goalless draw against Felda United, which enabled them to earn one point.

Kick off: 6 pm.

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