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India to take on Afghanistan today in SAFF cup

New Delhi, Sat, 03 Dec 2011 NI Wire

Defending Champion and five-time South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) cup winner India scheduled to take on Afghanistan today at 3:00 p.m. IST (Indian Standard Time).

Afghanistan, 178th ranked in the FIFA rankings is likely to considered as a weaker opponent but India's new coach Savio Medeira believes that India should not take Afghanistan lightly because in the last match at Hyderabad in 2008 AFC Challenge Cup India has to wait till last moment to win the match by 1-0.

'Afghanistan is a capable side and can create a good challenge for us,' said Medeira.

"They have been playing very well in the recent past. So, we need to be extra careful," added Savio.

Responding over the chances of team India, Medeira said, "It will be tough and it depends on how the team plays on the match day."

Medeira is also not sure about India's chances to retain its tile in this year.

India, (162th ranked in FIFA ranking) in a friendly match on Tuesday was thrashed on 0-5 by Zambia. However, India's two main striker Sunil Chettri and Jeje Lalpeklua had played that match.

Now, they are backed and ready to play, said Indian coach Savio.

Afghanistan Coach Mohammad Yusuf Kargar, on the other hand is quite confident over his team's performance on Saturday.

"We have a mix of youth and experience in the team and hopefully we will beat India 1-0 tomorrow," Karger said.

Earlier, SAFF Cup began on Friday in a classical manner and two matches were played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

In the opening match between Bangladesh and Pakistan ended draw without any goal while the second match between Maldives and Nepal also ended draw with 1-1.

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