New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) A depleted India will leave for Laos on Tuesday for their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup qualifier with at least 10 players on the treatment table.
Midfielder Vinit Rai became the latest to join a long list of injured players after an ankle complaint, said an All India Football Federation (AIFF) release on Monday.
His late withdrawal was a blow to the team for the June 2 match. The return leg of the tie will be played in Guwahati on June 7.
Besides Vinit, the squad has also been hit hard by injuries to midfielders Rowlin Borges, Pronay Halder, Cabin Lobo, Bikash Jairu and defender Augustine Fernandes who were either ruled out or released from its preparatory camp in Guwahati owing to injuries.
Midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh and striker Robin Singh haven’t recovered from the injuries they sustained earlier.
Midfielders C.K. Vineeth and David Lalriamuana also reported to the camp injured.
“We had finalised a list of 21 players who were to travel to Laos but now we will be travelling with a squad of 20,” head coach Stephen Constantine said in the release.
Goalkeeper Gurpreet, who plays for Norwegian club Stabaek FC, will join the team directly in Laos.
“There’s no reason to cry. We have a set of players who are ready. It’s an important match for us,” Constantine added.
“With not sufficient players available, the focus was to improve the fitness levels of the players who reported.”
The squad: Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh.
Defenders: Rino Anto, Keegan Pereira, Pritam Kotal, Arnab Mondal, Sandesh Jhingan, Chinglensana Singh, Fulganco Cardozo, Narayan Das.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Halicharan Narzary, Seityasen Singh, Md. Rafique, Eugenson Lyngdoh, Jackiechand Singh, Alwyn George.
Forwards: Sumeet Passi, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sunil Chhetri.