India U-23 football team face Bangladesh in SAG semis (Preview)

Guwahati, Feb 12 (IANS) India’s U-23 football team will face a tough test when they take on Bangladesh in the semi-final of the South Asian Games (SAG) here on Saturday.

India outclassed the Malvides 3-2 to enter the semis.

Looking back at the two matches played so far, India head coach Lee Johnson said the boys approached the game against the Maldives with “great attitude”.

“We worked hard for the entire 90 minutes which was pleasing. The defensive front at times looked disorganised in the first half but we were able to rectify it in the second half,” Johnson said on Friday.

“You can never underestimate any opponent. It’s a new game every day. We need to make sure that we approach it in a professional manner if we are to qualify for the final. We all have to defend together. They have some quick players,” he added.

Johnson said he is team has to control the midfield battle to emerge triumphant.

“They are there to win. Their Central holding Midfielder caught our eye. He looks to have a control over everything. He is the danger man,” he said.

“That apart, they have some other Players who are quick. We need to stay focused all throughout. If we can maintain our concentration, we have a chance. Ideally, we need to be more solid as a team.”

India made it to the semi-finals as the second-placed team from the group having lost one and won the other match.

“It will be nice to play at the stadium. If we get a crowd and they get behind the team, it will suit our players more,” Johnson said.

India will be without striker Sumeet Passi, suspended for the match due to a double booking.

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