India to play Kuwait in soccer opener | sports | Hindustan Times
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India to play Kuwait in soccer opener

Joaquim Abranches will lead the India football team, which start its Asian Games campaign against Kuwait in Guangzhou on Sunday. In keeping with tradition at quadrennial Games, the football competition starts before the curtains go up which, in this case is on Friday.

sports Updated: Nov 06, 2010 23:54 IST
Dhiman Sarkar

Joaquim Abranches will lead the India football team, which start its Asian Games campaign against Kuwait in Guangzhou on Sunday. In keeping with tradition at quadrennial Games, the football competition starts before the curtains go up which, in this case is on Friday.

Qatar and Singapore complete the quartet in India's group with the top two teams qualifying for the pre-quarter finals. India play Qatar on Tuesday and Singapore on Thursday.

After losing a friendly to Vietnam 1-3 in Cuttack, the India squad reached Guangzhou on October 25 and has been there since. Coach Sukhwinder said he is happy with preparations.

"The training sessions here have gone off well and that gives me hope even though we are in a tough group. Now, for a good start," Singh told HT.

Wide midfielder Abranches, 25, defender Denzil Franco, 24 and goalie Karanjit Singh, 24, are the three senior Indian players. According to the rules of football at multi-discipline events, all other players must be under 23. The coach conceded that Kuwait would be "largely unknown" opponents and to that end, stressed the beginning would be crucial.

Likely line-up: L. Kattimany; D. Franco, R. Rodrigues, D. Ravan, R. Lalthalma; J. Abranches, M. Mathani, J. Raja, J. Singh; J. Lalpekhlua, B. Singh.