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India take on Guam in AFC Challenge Cup

On a high after a win against Chinese Taipei in the opening tie, a confident India will take on Guam in their next match of the AFC Challenge Cup qualifying tournament on Monday.

India notched up a 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei in the opening match via an injury-time goal from striker Robin Singh on Saturday and Wim Koevermans’ men will look to repeat the performance on Monday.

‘We needed three points in the first match. That has set the ball rolling. We are prepared for the next challenge,’ said skipper Sunil Chhetri.

Guam, on the other hand, lost 0-5 to hosts Myanmar in their first match and will also look to bounce back.

Koevermans, however, is not taking Guam lightly. ‘There’s no place for complacency,’ he said. ‘Never underestimate your opponents. Never switch-off. If you do, you’ll pay the price.’

India had their instances of missed chances, such as, the ‘drastic seven minutes’ that had cost them the match against Palestine; two slip-ups which saw them go down to Singapore.

Even on Saturday, India had failed to go ahead when midfielder Mehtab Hossain missed an easy chance when he had to beat only the goalkeeper.

‘International Football is all about fighting for every inch. As the Coach said, we can never be casual. At the same time, we need to get over the tendency to concede,’ Hossain said. ‘Goals never come easy. You need to toil hard to score. And once when you have done it, we need to hold onto that and capitalise further. When we score, it’s a team effort. Likewise, when we concede, it’s a collected failure.

‘Against Myanmar, Guam conceded some soft goals too. We can never take them lightly. There are quite a few US-based players in their squad,’ he said. The match will kick-off against Guam 4pm (IST: 3pm).
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