The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tough test ahead of Indians

Dhaka: Having failed to play to potential so far, India will face their toughest test when they meet Bangladesh in Saturday’s SAFF Cup semi-final.

India, handicapped to a great extent by the absence four key players, have been rather lucky to reach the semi-finals but they will be determined to find their rhythm against the hosts in what promises to be thrilling contest at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Chasing their third successive title in a tournament which they have traditionally dominated, the depleted Indians need to put up a far more inspiring show against the Bangladeshis who will be keen to capitalise on home advantage.

Coach Stephen Constantine, who has been thoroughly disappointed with the performance of his wards in the group matches, will be hoping that the four days of rest and the board room sessions will pay dividends.

India’s passage to the semi-finals has hardly been convincing as they managed to make it on a better goal difference after finishing with four points with Sri Lanka in group A.

After a shock 0-1 defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan, India did better against debutants Afghanistan to win 4-0 before being held 1-1 by Sri Lanka.

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