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    India take on Sri Lanka in SAFF Under-16 C'ships opener

    Apart from India and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh are the third team in Group B.

    Kathmandu: The Indian under-16 team will open its campaign against Sri Lanka in the second edition of the SAFF Under-16 Football Championships at the Army Ground in Kathmandu on Sunday.

    Apart from India and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh are the third team in Group B.

    In the other group, reigning champions Pakistan have been clubbed with hosts Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan.

    India play their second match against Bangladesh on July 25. The semi-finals are slated for July 27 and 28, while the final is on July 30.

    "The SAFF Championships are a great opportunity for us to study our progress. At this age, more than winning, such exposure is more important. I am glad that the boys have got it and we are raring to go," head coach Goutam Ghosh said at the pre-tournament press conference.

    "We have been preparing for the tournament since April this year and have played some friendlies too. We want to lap up this opportunity and give the boys a feel of a tournament," he added.

    The 23-member squad is as follows:

    Goalkeepers: Anuj Kumar (Uttar Pradesh), Subrata Das (West Bengal), M Dheeraj Singh (Manipur)

    Defenders: M Jayananda Singh (Manipur), Jerry Lalrinzuala (Mizoram), T Kishan Singh (Manipur), Prosenjit Chakraborty (West Bengal), Amit Tudu (West Bengal), Nuruddin (Uttar Pradesh), Amey Ranawade (Maharashtra)

    Midfielders: Bodo Baoringdao (Assam), Kyntiew Kharlukhi (Meghalaya), Surya Tirkey (Jharkhand), Zonunmawia (Mizoram), Anirudh Thapa (Uttarakhand), Deependra Singh Negi (Uttarakhand), Aaron Rodrigues (Goa), Chanmitre Thma (Meghalaya)

    Forwards: Laishram Bedashwor Singh (Manipur), Sourav Chakraborty (West Bengal), Edmund Lalrindika (Mizoram), Krishna Pandit (Chandigarh), Mohammed Hasil (Kerala)

    Head coach: Goutam Ghosh; Assistant coach: John Kenneth Raj; Goalkeeping coach: Feroz Sheriiff; Physiotherapist: Somya Rout; Team manager: Subhashish Banerjee