Constantine boosts defence ahead of Iran encounter

After conceding four goals in their two World Cup qualifying games, it was no surprise to see the defensive setup getting a major reshuffle when the Indian coach Stephen Constantine announced his 28 probables for the national camp that begins in Pune on August 23.

The national side, which is due to face Iran in their next FIFA World Cup qualifiers on September 8 here, will take on Nepal in a friendly prior to the match on August 31 in Pune.

Constantine seemed to have opted for experience over promise as centre-back Aiborlang Khongjee along with wing-backs Narayan Das and Pritam Kotal made their way back into the squad, while Reagan Singh, Gurwinder Singh and Augustin Fernandes were left out.
The goalkeeping department too has seen changes with the Briton including Karanjit Singh and Arindam Bhattacharya to a list which already features Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Sanjiban Ghosh.

Goa’s Mandar Rao Desai is the only one left out among the midfielders. Constantine included Dempo SC’s Pronoy Halder — reportedly in talks with BFC — Rowllin Borges of Sporting Club de Goa and first-timer Brandon Fernandes to the list.

The forward line, however, remains intact with skipper Sunil Chhetri featuring in the company of Robin Singh, Holicharan Narzary and Jeje Lalpekhlua.

The probables: Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Karanjit Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Arindam Bhattacharya, Sanjiban Ghosh.

Defenders: Arnab Mondal, Sandesh Jhingan, Aiborlang Khongjee, Dhanachandra Singh, Lalchhuanmawia, Narayan Das, Rino Anto, Pritam Kotal.

Midfielders: Dhanapal Ganesh, Eugenson Lyngdoh, Cavin Lobo, Sehnaj Singh, Jackichand Singh, Pronoy Halder, Brandon Fernandes, Francis Fernandes, CK Vineeth, Rowllin Borges, Romeo Fernandes.

Forwards: Holicharan Narzary, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Robin Singh, Sunil Chhetri.

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