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Football: India to host First Official International Match with Puerto Rico in Mumbai

This will be the first ever official international match here in 61 years since India last played the erstwhile USSR in 1955

Mumbai, September 2, 2016: India will aim to climb up the rankings when they host Puerto Rico in an international friendly football match at the Andheri Sports Complex here on Saturday.

This will be the first ever official international match here in 61 years since India last played the erstwhile USSR in 1955.

This is also the first time ever that a team from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) region will be officially playing in India.

Puerto Rico are placed 114 in the rankings ahead of India’s 152nd position.

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Indiacoach Stephen Constantine is likely to field the team in a 4-2-3-1 combination with Jeje Lalpekhlua leading the hosts’ attack.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will be given the goalkeeping duties ahead of recent Arjuna Award winner Subrata Paul.

Sandesh Jhingan and Arnab Mondal will man the centre of a four man defence, with Narayan Das and Rino Anto occupying the full-back positions.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Pronay Halder will be India’s two deep-lying central midfielders, just behind the attacking trio of Sunil Chhetri, Jackichand Singh and Sumeet Passi.

The visiting team will go into the match without several of their frontliners, including Hector Ramos, Jorge Rivera and Joseph Marrero.

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The Puerto Ricans are likely to play in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

Their frontline will be manned by Michael Ramos. Alexis Rivera, Marcos Martinez, Emmanuel D’Andrea, Jacob Conde will hold the four-man defence line, ahead of goalkeeper Christofer Alexander Echevarria.

India have lost two and won three of their last five matches, the most recent being a 3-0 win over Bhutan last month.

Puerto Rico come into the match after a 0-1 loss against Dominican Republic on August 31. (IANS)

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