ISL Emerging Player Lalrinzuala in India’s 31-man probables for AFC Asian Cup qualifiers
Indian national football coach Stephen Constantine announced a 31-man probables list ahead of the Blue Tigers’ opening AFC Asian Cup qualifiers match away to Myanmarin Yangon on March 28. The Englishman chose four fresh faces amongst the probables featuring the likes of Jerry Lalrinzuala and Milan Singh, who enjoyed impressive Hero ISL 2016 campaigns with Chennaiyin FC and Delhi Dynamos FC respectively.
“We have recruited players on basis of their consistent performances both from the Hero I-League and the Hero Indian Super League. I reiterate that the door is open for anyone who is eligible to play for India. But for that he must be prepared to do the work we need. We have selected the players from what we have seen over the last few months,” said Constantine.
Lalrinzuala became a mainstay at the back for the Super Machans last year on the back of solid displays that saw him bag the ISL Emerging-Player-of-League award. He also showed enterprise in attack contributing two assists and netting a neat free-kick to emerge as one of the bright sparks during Chennai’s unsuccessful title defence. Milan was another revelation from last season, making 15 appearances for the Lions, scoring twice, including a stunner against Atlético de Kolkata in New Delhi. FC Goa’s Robin Singh also returned to the national fold after an injury layoff.
The goalkeeping spots will see Subrata Paul (NorthEast United FC), Amrinder Singh (Mumbai City FC) and TP Rehenesh (NorthEast United FC) competing against one another to make the final cut, given the fact that national team captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will start in goal for Constantine. Atlético de Kolkata’s Pritam Kotal and Arnab Mondal, Kerala Blasters FC’s Sandesh Jhingan, Delhi Dynamo FC’s Anas Edathodika, Chennaiyin FC’s Dhanpal Ganesh, FC Goa’s Fulganco Cardozo and FC Pune City’s Narayan Das have been named as defensive probables for India.
Constantine’s midfield options include Jackichand Singh (Mumbai City FC), Seityasen Singh (NorthEast United FC), Udanta Singh (Mumbai City FC), Eugeneson Lyngdoh (FC Pune City), Pronay Halder (Mumbai City FC), Mohammed Rafique (Kerala Blasters FC), Rowllin Borges (NorthEast United FC), Holicharan Narzary (NorthEast United FC) and CK Vineeth (Kerala Blasters FC).
The 54-year-old’s attacking options boast Hero ISL’s highest domestic scorer Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC), the first Indian to score a hat-trick in the Hero ISL Sunil Chhetri (Mumbai City FC) and youngsters Sumeet Passi (NorthEast United FC) and Daniel Lalhimpuia (Chennaiyin FC).
Constantine selected Mumbai as the venue for the senior Indian team to camp ahead of their Group A opener and will also take on Cambodia in a friendly at Phnom Penh on March 22 as part of their preparation.
GOALKEEPERS: Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, TP Rehenesh.
DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Sandesh Jhingan, Arnab Mondal, Anas Edathodika, Dhanpal Ganesh, Fulganco Cardozo, Narayan Das, Subhashish Bose, Jerry Lalrinzuala.
MIDFIELDERS: Jackichand Singh, Seityasen Singh, Udanta Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Milan Singh, Pronay Halder, Mohammed Rafique, Rowllin Borges, Holicharan Narzary, CK Vineeth, Anthony D’Souza, Issac Vanlalsawma.
FORWARDS: Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi, Sunil Chhetri, Daniel Lalhimpuia, Robin Singh.