The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Saudis arrive with 13 World Cuppers
- AFC Asian Cup qualifier not taking India lightly, says goalkeeper Khojah

Calcutta: The Saudi Arabians, with 13 World Cuppers in their ranks, reached the city late on Sunday by a chartered flight from Riyadh for their AFC Asian Cup qualifier against India.

The 47-strong contingent, comprising players and officials, went through a ten-day training camp at Abha — 7200 feet above sea level — before arriving here. Brazilian-born coach Marcos Paqueta is accompanying the side.

The World Cuppers are Hussein Sulimani, Al Qadi Naif, Yasser Al Kahtani, Abdulaziz Khatran, Mohammad Ibrahim Khojah, Mohammed Massad, Mabrouk Zaid, Saud Kariri, Al Ghamdi Omar, Mohammed Ameen, Mohammed Noor, Ahmed Fahad Al Dosari and Mohammed Akhtar Redha Fallatah.

“We are not taking India lightly. After all, this is an international match and you cannot expect a one-sided contest,” goalkeeper Khojah said on arrival at the team hotel.

This surely is going to be a daunting task for India under new coach Bob Houghton. Bhaichung Bhutia & Co. had a day off on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia are ranked 81 in Fifa rankings after their dismal show in the World Cup where they crashed out in the opening round with two losses and a draw. They were ranked 34th before the World Cup.

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