Karnataka (Bengaluru) October 18 (ANI): Former India international Mehtab Hossain lavished praise for the Indian men's U-23 football team players who were a part of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship.
India convincingly defeated Nepal 3-0 at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives, on Saturday to win the coveted trophy.
"It was a treat to watch Lalengmawia (Ralte) play -- not just the final, but in the matches that he has been fielded. I am particularly happy with his performance -- after all, he plays a similar position to myself," AIFF quoted Mehtab as saying.
"Apuia (Lalengmawia) has a very cool head. He makes football look so simple -- never in a hurry, and always so much time on the ball. I am very fond of him. I just hope he improves on his play," he added.
Mehtab also praised the Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri for his performance in the SAFF Championship.
"Sunil (Chhetri) was brilliant as usual in the SAFF Championship. I can praise him all day long, and it would still not be enough," said Mehtab.
After winning the SAFF Championship in Male, Maldives on Saturday, the likes of Dheeraj Singh, Suresh Singh, Lalengmawia Ralte, Jeakson Singh, and Rahim Ali have joined the U23 side in Bengaluru.
Among the 28 probables summoned for the AFC U23 qualifiers, all except Sahil Panwar have reported to Bengaluru. As per medical reports from Odisha FC, Sahil is currently suffering from an injury and hence, was not available for the qualifiers.
While praising the Blue Tigers for not losing a single match in the SAFF Championship, Mehtab said, "The way the team turned it around was a big testament to the mentality of the players and the coach."The 28-member list of probables is as follows: The goalkeepers will be Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Prateek Kumar Singh, and Mohammad Nawaz.
Narender Gahlot, Bikash Yumnam, Alex Saji, Hormipam Ruivah, Halen Nongtdu, Asish Rai, Sumit Rathi, Akash Mishra, and Sahil Panwar will be the defenders.
SK Sahil, Suresh Singh, Amarjit Singh, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Deepak Tangri, Rahul KP, Komal Thatal, Nikhil Raj, Bryce Miranda, and Princeton Rebello will be the mid-fielders.
The forwards will be Vikram Partap Singh, Rahim Ali, Rohit Danu, and Aniket Jadhav. (ANI)