Dhaka, Bangladesh
India hopeful to retain the SAFF crown

Maldives ready to take the holder’s challenge

India hopeful to retain the SAFF crown

India U-23 football team head coach Stephen Constantine said he was hopeful to retain the SAFF crown winning the final match against the Maldives, reports BSS. The final of the SAFF Suzuki Cup will be held tomorrow at Bangabandhu National Stadium. Addressing at a pre match press conference held on Friday at conference room of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Bhaban the English coach said it’s a fantastic opportunity for his side to win the final as he said he was pleased of his boys’ performance in the tournament and his team deserved to win the final match. “We beat Maldives in the group stage, but tomorrow is the final a different game and anything can happen …. We hope to win final against Maldives,” said Constantine to the reporters. “I want to give the U-23 team a maximum exposer so that they can gain experience from such a big tournament…. it’s very important to me to develop the India football,” he said when asked why the Indian the U 23 team representing in the tournament instead of senior team. Indian skipper Subashish Bose, who was present at the press conference, said their preparation was very good so far and they would try to win the final match against the Maldives. The captain said he felt very good as the Indian supporters have been supporting them during their matches in foreign soil and he also sought the supporters to keep their support on so that they could be motivated in the final. Maldives national football team head coach Petar Segrt said they are ready to take the challenge of India in the final where the Maldives was able to reach after nine years. “India is big team……we respect India, but we are also ready to take their challenge,” he said to the reporters at a pre match press conference held on Friday at conference room of Bangladesh Football Federation Bhaban,. “It’s a big success for my team as we were able to reach the final of SAFF …. I am very proud of my players, staffs, assistant coach as they worked hard and steered the team towards the final,” The Maldives coach said the whole team is united now before the big final match and boys are also ready to take the pressure. He also expressed hope that they would able to give their maximum efforts in the final. Petar, however, admitted that their performances were not up to the mark in the group stage but tomorrow is the different game hoping that the team to come out successfully in the final. Maldives captain Akram Abdul Ghanee, who was present at the press conference, said: “We had been struggling in the group stage matches and finally we were able to reach the final after nine years. … It’s a big chance for us and we’re ready to win the match against India.”

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