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Zambia test for India ahead of SAFF Cup

Without strike duo Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua, away in Glasgow on trial with Rangers, India face a stern battle against higher-ranked Zambia in a friendly international on Tuesday, ahead of the SAFF Championship.

sports Updated: Nov 29, 2011 01:55 IST

Without strike duo Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua, away in Glasgow on trial with Rangers, India face a stern battle against higher-ranked Zambia in a friendly international on Tuesday, ahead of the SAFF Championship.

With both the first-choice strikers away, coach Savio Medeira feels the task has been made all the more challenging.

He said that it will be a big ask to outperform a nation ranked 79th in the world, 83 places above India in the FIFA rankings.

Here as part of the golden jubilee celebration of the Goa Football Association, the Zambians showed their class with a 4-1 demolition of Goa XI on Friday.

While the Indians will be using the match at the Nehru Stadium to finetune their squad for the SAFF Cup to be played in New Delhi, the Zambians would look to prepare for the African Cup of Nations in January. Medeira was aware of the Zambian challenge.

"The match is very important for us. This is a great opportunity to gauge where we stand. The Zambian team is ranked higher than us and are an athletic side. It will be a learning experience for the boys ahead of the SAFF Championship," he said.