The India national football team take on Bhutan in an unofficial friendly match in Thimpu, the national capital of Bhutan, on Saturday afternoon. While star players including Sandesh Jhingan, Subrata Paul and Jackichand Singh are a part of the India team, Sunil Chhetri is not a part of the squad.
Report: India won the game 3-0 with goals from Sumeet Passi, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Holicharan Narzary.
The reason being East Bengal and Bengaluru FC were not keen on releasing their players for their preseason training camp. Having said that, a number of youngsters could be seen in action for Stephen Constantine's side during the match.
Chinglesana Konsham Singh, Koushik Sarkar and Isaac Chhakchhuak remain the three lesser-known names who could make their debut for the India national football team in the match. British coach Constantine has made a name for himself after giving debuts to as many as 28 players ever since he took helm as head coach of the national team.
"All games are important when you represent your country. Although it is an unofficial friendly where FIFA points won't be counted, it is an opportunity for players to show what they can do," said Constantine ahead of the match.
The British coach also mentioned about the challenge of adjusting to the weather in Bhutan, which is a stark contrast at the moment as compared to India. "It's going to be a lot more colder than what we had in Delhi. But that's something which we will have to adjust to. Dealing with different climatic conditions is part of international football and at the end of the day it all boils down to how you play," he added.
Bhutan, meanwhile, will embark on the 2019 Asian Cup UAE Qualifiers starting September, and the match against India on Saturday will give them a good warm up.
"Bhutan are a Team that are slowly but surely improving. The fact they are still in with a chance to make the final stages of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers is a testament to that," Constantine mentioned.
India vs Bhutan is scheduled for a 4 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. IST) kick off on Aug. 13.
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