The All India Football Federation (AIFF) organised Tri-Nation series culminates with hosts India taking on Saint Kitts and Nevis at the Mumbai Football Arena, Andheri.
While the Blue Tigers registered a come from behind win, the Caribbean side left it late to salvage an equaliser against the same opponents.
Originally planned to be a four-nation contest, the India FA fell short of finding a suitable international team to launch its flagship ‘Champions Cup’. Hence, it became a triangular series, bizzarely without any final.
The results do not have nay effect on the FIFA Rankings and thus are not recognised as ‘official’ matches by the world governing body.
If at all the series carried points, India would have had three, St. Kitts and Nevis and Mauritius sharing one each, but the latter have having exhausted its two games.
|Game||India vs Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Date||Thursday, 24 August 2017|
|Time||20:00 IST (UTC+5:30)|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
|INDIA TV channel||Online stream|
|Star Sports 1 / Star Sports HD 1||Hotstar / Jio TV|
Amrinder Singh who played the second half should start in goal. Eugeneson Lyngdoh who appeared a bit off colour was replaced by Mohammed Rafique who showed terrific enterprise will be pushing for a start, so will Balwant Singh – that means first half goal scorer Robin Singh might have to warm the bench.
Jerry Lalrinzuala will too make a case for selection but with six changes available in the game, there will be plenty of experiment. Halicharan Narzary will be closely monitored after his lacklustre display against Mauritius, with Bikash Jairu waiting in the wings to win his place back after recovering from a long-term injury.
KEY PLAYER: Jeje Lalpehklua
Head coach Jacques Passy will not be content with his side’s performance in the 1-1 draw to Mauritius. Players like Vidal Hendrickson and G’Vaune Amory who were below par should face the axe. Vinceroy Nelson’s pacy second half and Tishan Hanley’s assist for Kimaree Rogers’s goal should see them shipped into the starting XI.
KEY PLAYER: Kimaree Rogers
For India, this is a chance to find its perfect combination for the crunch 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying game against Macau on 5 September. The likes of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh continue to remain unavailable for selection in lieu of their club commitments in the AFC Cup.
Head coach Stephen Constantine will look to give his preferred XI the go from the outset as they look to clock in game time. However, rotation will be the name of the game as India will like to test out its bench strength in case of any indemnity in the future.
The debuts of Amrinder Singh, Nikhil Poojary and Manvir Singh highlighted the ample resources available to Constantine. However, Balwant Singh’s first appearance since 2013 and debut senior goal will fill the Briton with much confidence.
For the Sugar Boyz, it is a chance to impress travelling halfway around the world. Mauritius got the better of them but a late goal somehow saved face. It will be interesting to see the fitness levels, playing barely 48 hours after finishing their first game, as compared to India who took to the field last Saturday.
India are on a nine game winning streak and will hope to make it ten out of ten against a side ranked 28 places below them. Funnily enough, it was only five months ago that St. Kitts and Nevis were ranked 73rd and India 132nd – a difference of 59 places in March 2017.
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