India vs Nepal: Two new faces in 25-member IND football squad for friendlies

Rahim Ali and Seriton Fernandes earned their maiden India call ups while the injured Sandesh Jhingan was left out. India’s matches vs Nepal are on September 2 and 5.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by AIFF

Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac named a 25-member squad for the upcoming friendly matches against Nepal.

India will play two international friendlies on September 2 and 5 in Kathmandu.

The final squad, named on Friday, was picked after a two-week long preparatory camp in Kolkata, which also included an exhibition match against I-League side Mohammedan Sporting on August 26.

The Indian football team won 2-0, with goals from Farukh Choudhury and Ishan Pandita. However, Pandita was left out of the 25-man team that will fly to Nepal.

Two new players - Chennaiyin FC's 21-year-old forward Rahim Ali and FC Goa defender Seriton Fernandes - have been included in the roster.

Rahim Ali joins Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh and Farukh Choudhary in the attack while 28-year-old Seriton bolsters the defensive line alongside Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke and Subhashish Bose.

Mumbai City FC defender Mandar Rao Dessai returns to the senior national team after missing the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in June.

However, defensive stalwart Sandesh Jhingan was overlooked after joining Croatian top-tier team HNK Sibenik earlier this month. The 28-year-old is also carrying an injury.

Udanta Singh, Rowllin Borges, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Ashique Kuruniyan are the other notable absentees.

Notably, the shortlisted players from ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC missed the camp as they were competing in the AFC Cup in Maldives.

While the ATKMB players have joined the national team in Kolkata, BFC footballers will unite with the Indian squad in New Delhi on August 29.

The Indian football team will travel to Nepal on August 30.

India football squad for Nepal friendly matches

Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Chinglensana Singh Konsham, Mandar Rao Dessai, Akash Mishra, Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose, Seriton Fernandes

Midfielders: Lalengmawia, Bipin Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Yasir Mohammad, Glan Martins, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Jeakson Singh, Pronay Halder

Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Farukh Choudhary