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We must defend strongly against China: Chhetri

The Tribune 2018-10-12 02:08:00


Keen to see India improving their away record, captain Sunil Chhetri today said the side’s defence would be the key when they play an international friendly against China after 21 years on Saturday.

“We have to defend really well. I believe we have to do a lot of defending,” said Chhetri. “We should not give them much space. At the same time, whenever we find a little room of opportunity, we have to construct the moves and counter them. To sum it up, we must be at the top of our game in every single department. If we don’t combine well and operate as a team, they’ll make us struggle a lot,” he added.

“I’m happy that we are playing China. It’s strange that we are playing them after so long. We should have played them more often,” he added.

China are being coached by Italy’s World Cup-winning coach Marcelo Lippi. Chhetri added that “China are always threatening at their home”. “That’s going to be the perfect challenge that we need to assess ourselves. We have done really well in the last couple of years but now it’ll help us gauge ourselves before the Asian Cup (to be held in January-February next year),” he said. — PTI

Italy held by Ukraine 

Genoa (Italy): Ruslan Malinovskiy cancelled out Federico Bernardeschi’s second-half strike as Italy were held 1-1 by Ukraine in an international friendly on Wednesday during which the victims of the bridge collapse in the city were remembered. Italy coach Roberto Mancini spent most of his playing career in Genoa — at Sampdoria — and the friendly at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris was organised to raise money for those affected by the collapse of the Morandi bridge on August 14. Play was halted at the 43rd minute to remember the 43 people who died in the disaster. With 12,000 fans in attendance, around ^105,000 was raised for the disaster fund. afp


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