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India gear up for tri-nation game against Mauritius

Mumbai: It may not be of much help but the Indian football team will look to get some practice ahead of its AFC Asian Cup Qualifier game when it takes on lower-ranked Mauritius in the tri-nation series opener here on Saturday.

Placed 97th in the FIFA rankings, India will take on St Kitts and Nevis, the third team in the tournament, on August 25. Mauritius is ranked 160th while St Kitts and Nevis is ranked 125th.
While playing against stronger teams would have helped India prepare in a much better way for the match against Macau on September 5, still the team can garner some ranking points by winning the tournament.
India head coach Stephen Constantine said that the tri- nation games will give him an opportunity to try out new players. "My initial plan was to play one game, close to (the game against) Macau. Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei play similar style. (But) when the opportunity came to play two games, that gives me more time, it also gives me more opportunities to try new players, so we wanted one team from Africa, one team from Carribean, one team from Asia to make it a four team tournament," he told reporters here. "The timing of the games is difficult. This time most teams are away with clubs, it was quite difficult to get the teams we got. We have two opponents who will give us different problems and an opportunity for us to re-acquaint," he said.

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