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Mizoram XI play Germans today

Aizawl, May 12: Mizoram XI are determined not be humbled on their home turf when they meet German football team TSG 1899 Hoffenhein in what is being billed as the biggest football match in Mizoram tomorrow.

“I know that Hoffenheim is a good team. But it’s our home ground. Besides the home advantage, I have the best football players from Mizoram. So, I’m sure of winning the match,” said coach H. Lalthlangliana who has recently coached the Mizoram team to win the coveted Santosh Trophy.

The Mizoram squad includes four of the Indian senior team — S. Malsawmtluanga (Mama) of East Bengal, Lalrindika Ralte of East Bengal, Robert Lalthlamuana of East Bengal and Jeje Lalpekhlua of Dempo SC. The remaining players are drawn from different Mizoram Premier League clubs.

“I have prepared a good game plan which, I believe, is suitable for attacking footballers like Ralte. You will see a beautiful game,” the coach added.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, which currently holds ninth position in the apex German league Bundesliga, will be playing an exhibition match at Aizawl’s Lammual Ground as part of their India tour. In their season-ending tour, the team will also visit Calcutta and Goa, but Aizawl will be the only venue they will play in during the weeklong tour.

The match will be played under floodlights. Tickets of Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 500 denomination were sold out within two days. Mizoram Football Association secretary Lalnghinglova Hmar said, “It will be the biggest football match in the state. Everyone in the football-crazy state is eagerly looking forward to the match.”

“We would like to thank

Bundesliga, Hoffenheim and Adamant Sports for the India tour and a match in Mizoram,” he added.

“The Mizoram Football Association is teaming up the best players to face the German club and they will put up a tough fight,” he said.

The 2014 India Tour, organised by the Switzerland-based Adamant Sports, will be TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's first visit to India.

The basic objective of Hoffenheim’s tour is not business but to promote football in India.

“As Mizoram is known to be one of the power houses of football in India, which has been proven by the recent success in the Santosh Trophy. So they are organising the match only in Mizoram,” Hmar said.

According to Hmar, the Hoffenheim team will miss only three of their players in the Aizawl match — goalkeeper Koen Casteels due to injury, defender Fabian Johnson and midfielder Sejad Salihovic due to their inclusion in the World Cub squads.

The German squad comprises 41 people and is scheduled to arrive at Lengpui Airport here tomorrow afternoon.

The match to be played under floodlights at Lammual Ground here will be live telecast from Zonet local cable TV and DDK Sports in the entire country.