National football coach Stephen Constantine announced a 22-member squad for India’s first-ever international fixture in China which is scheduled at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Suzhou City on October 13.
Striker Balwant Singh had to be dropped from the squad because of some unavoidable circumstances. As his passport will expire in less than six months, he was denied a Chinese visa.
Out of the 17 face-offs between these two sides so far, the Red Dragons have won on 12 occasions. The rest of the five matches ended in a stalemate.
During the media interaction at the JLN Stadium here before departure on Tuesday night, Constantine asserted that although the match was labelled as a ‘friendly’, it is a serious affair for the entire team.
“Friendly or no-friendly, it’s the India national team. It’s only a friendly game for the world but not us,” he said.
The two national teams will lock horns after a gap of 21 years. In the last meeting, which took place in the Nehru Cup in Kochi in 1997, China pipped India 2-1.
The 22-member Indian squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Karanjit Singh.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Sarthak Golui, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Subhasish Bose, Narayan Das.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Pronay Halder, Rowllin Borges, Anirudh Thapa, Vinit Rai, Halicharan Narzary, Ashique Kuruniyan.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi, Farukh Choudhary.