After suffering a defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in their opening match of the men's football competition, the India U-23 side will be keen on a desperate win on Wednesday against Maldives in Guwahati.
The Indian side, coached by Lee Johnson, are currently stationed at the bottom of the table, and the final group game of Pool A will decide whether India will go through to the semi-finals of the competition. As of now, Maldives lead the table, thanks to a better goal difference. They defeated Sri Lanka 2-1 in their previous fixture of the competition and look to be in a good form.
Pressure is no doubt on the hosts to pull a victory against Maldives and make it through to the next round. Only the top two sides from a pool will feature in the next round. India's win in the SAFF Cup 2015 final earlier this year brought a lot of expectations among the Indian football fans, who want the U-23 side to emulate the recent success.
The likes of Sunil Chhetri, Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Jeje Lalpekhlua may be absent from this India U-23 side under Lee Johnson, but there are still big names like Sandesh Jhingan, Narayan Das, and Rowlin Borges in the participating side who can still get the job done for India.
"We have little option but to win," the Indian U-23 Men's head coach Lee Johnson was quoted by the official AIFF site. "The team needs to rebuild and remain positive and aware of their roles. We have the players who have the ability to get the result that we need. But it's up to them to get the desired result on the field."
Sri Lanka's Mohammed Rifnas remained the only scorer as India lost in their opening fixture of the competition. The Indian team enjoyed lion's share of the ball possession during the match, but their inability to see the game off from plenty of chances hit them hard.
From Sumeet Passi to Holicharan Narzary and Lallainzuala Chhangte, there were many chances falling in their path in the game, but neither of them could take those chances.
"We are not looking back. Past is past and tomorrow's game is up for grabs. We are confident and need to stay focused," Johnson added, as he looks for a turnaround in his men's performance against Maldives.
Squads: India: Kamaljit Singh, Rehenesh TP, Laxmikant Kattimani; Bikramjit Singh, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Salam Ranjan Singh, Kaushik Sarkar, Narayan Das, Samad Ali Mallick; Vinit Rai, Lallianzuala Changte, Rowlin Borges, Jayesh Rane, Germanpreet Singh, Udanta Singh; Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Sumeet Passi, Amoes T, Holicharan Narzary.
Where to watch live
South Asian Games 2016 Men's Football: India vs Maldives is scheduled to kick off at 2 pm IST on Wednesday, 10 February.
Viewers in India can catch the match on DD Sports. Radio commentary of the event will be available on the AIR FM Gold.
The live scores of the game will be available on the official AIFF twitter handle.
Live streaming options for other countries:
In Pakistan: Geo Super.
Sri Lanka: MTV Sports.
Bangladesh: Gazi TV.
Afghanistan: Lemar TV.
Nepal: Kantipur Gold.