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05th-Sep-2018

India take on Sri Lanka in Suzuki SAFF Championship today

By BSS, Dhaka

Defending champions India take on Sri Lanka in their opening group B match of the Suzuki SAFF Championship scheduled to be held today (Wednesday) at Bangabandhu National Stadium.
The match kicks off at 7 pm.
Young defender Subhasish Bose captain Indian U-23 national team in their opening match of the tournament said national football team coach Stephen Constantine to the pressmen.
He said Subhasish has been very impressive in the recent camps that helped him to make a strong comeback in the side. It's going to be a very special moment for him.
Asked whether the defending champions will start as favourites, the 55-year-old Constantine replied that he have always looked to this opportunity to provide some international experience to the youngsters and that's why they have come with a U-23 squad.
The coach said they have come here to win the tournament as we have always done. We have a fair chance of getting the title but I won't say that we're going to start as favourites," said the coach.
The whole squad is eagerly waiting to get the ball rolling. Everyone will be up for the game against us and it'll be a great experience for the team, he added.
India are pitted with Sri Lanka and one-time champions Maldives (2008) in Group B whereas hosts Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan are placed in Group A. Before the SAFF tournament, the defending champions had a 17-day preparatory camp in Sydney where they played three friendly fixtures against APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, Sydney FC and Rydalmere Lions FC respectively.
Asked how the camp helped the boys prepare for the tournament, Constantine stated that the three games in Australia have been terrific practice for the team and the game against Sydney FC, that too their first squad has been a great lesson for them.
He said the team got a few positive feedbacks from Australia and those are going to be pretty helpful for the boys in the coming days.
Indian skipper Subhasish said that it's a dream-come-true moment for him and also vowed to give his best for the team.
India will play their second group match against the Maldives on September 9.