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Manandeep & Souvik are in

New Delhi: National coach Wim Koevermans on Wednesday dropped defender Raju Gaekwad and striker Joaquim Abranches from the 20-member squad for the friendly against Yemen. The match will be held at Guwahati, on Wednesday.

Both Raju and Abranches were part of the Indian team who played against Singapore last month.

Defender Souvik Ghosh and striker Manandeep Singh were named as replacements. While Shouvik is enjoying a good season with Pailan Arrows, Manandeep has given a good account of himself for East Bengal.

Shifting our focus to the ground conditions at the Nehru Stadium — the venue for the India-Yemen match — it was learnt that Koevermans was unimpressed with the pitch and made no secret of his feelings.

“The coach felt the ground was not good enough for international standard,” an AIFF official said. “We have now arranged for a specialist groundsmanů He will fly to Guwahati to take care of the pitch,” he added.

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Subhasish Roychowdhury, Karanjeet Singh

Defenders: Nirmal Chetri, Denzil Franco, Gouramangi Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Souvik Ghosh, Syed Rahim Nabi

Midfielders: Lenny Rodrigues, Mehtab Hussain, Jewel Raja, Francis Fernandes, Alwyn George, Anthony Pereira, Sanju Pradhan, Clifford Miranda

Forwards: Robin Singh, Sunil Chetri and Manandeep Singh