SAG: India aim to reignite football campaign (Preview)

Guwahati, Feb 9 (IANS) The Indian U-23 football team will aim to recover from the loss in their campaign opener when they take on Maldives in a must-win group match at the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) here on Wednesday.

India had lost 0-2 to Sri Lanka — the third team in the group — in their first match. With Maldives, having beaten Sri Lanka 3-1 in their opening encounter, a win for India will see them through to the semi-finals on the basis of goal difference.

“We have little option but to win. The team needs to rebuild and remain positive and aware of their roles,” India U-23 coach Lee Johnson said.

“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.

“The boys were disappointed with the result in the last match. They know that they need to work harder than their opponents. That’s the minimum requirement regardless of who they play,” he added.

Against Sri Lanka, the Indians were unable to convert the chances that came their way, especially in the first half.

“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 maintained.

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