India not taking Bhutan lightly

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

India play one of the world's weakest sides Bhutan on the opening day of the Asian Football Confederation under-20 championship in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Kolkata:

Despite starting as runaway favourites, India are guarding against complacency as they play one of the world's weakest sides Bhutan on the opening day of the Asian Football Confederation under-20 championship here tomorrow. The hosts, with a FIFA ranking of 123, are miles ahead of the tiny Himalayan Kingdom, which has recently climbed up to the 199th spot after trouncing Montserrat 4-0 last month in a match between the two weakest soccer sides of the world. But India's Uzbek chief coach Islam Akhmedov sounded a note of caution ahead of the flood-lit encounter at the giant Salt lake stadium. "In international engagements, you cannot afford to take any team lightly. One should remember that they have a Dutch coach, Arie Schans," he said. The India-Bhutan outing would be the second match on the morrow, with Tajikistan and Kyrghyzstan clashing in the tournament lung-opener earlier in the day. However, Schans, who arrived in Bhutan on June six to prepare the national squad for the Montserrat match, had no hesitation in admitting that his side 'virtually stood no chance' against India, who have the home advantage. "They are physically strong. Moreover, their players have been picked up from different parts of the vast Indian nation while my charges have been culled from some of the schools of Bhutan's capital Thimpu," he said. The Indians, who have been practising here for the last one month, are likely to play in a 4-5-1 format, with Syed Rahim Nabi starting as the sole striker. (PTI)

Topics : Football
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