Shillong, Feb 13: Shillong Lajong captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia has been named by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in its list of probables for the U-23 AFC Championship Qualifiers, but his team mate – Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi – who Lajong said was among the probables only yesterday, is not included in the list.

The AIFF website listed 37 players among the probables in a post to announce that the experienced Derrick Pereira will coach the U-23 team.

(UPDATE: Lajong later informed that both Kynshi and Lalmuanpuia have been selected as probables and the AIFF website added Kynshi’s name later in the evening.)

Pereira will be in charge of the preparatory camp in Goa, which will begin on 2nd March. The team will also play a friendly match against Qatar’s U-23 side in Doha on 11th March.

India, Pakistan, Tajikistan and hosts Uzbekistan are in Group F of the U-23 Qualifiers. India will take on Tajikistan on 22nd March, Uzbekistan on 24th March and Pakistan on 26th March.

Lalmuanpuia is the most experienced player at Lajong at the moment. He has played in 56 I-League matches and has been with the club for years, coming through the junior ranks.

He was named Best Emerging Player by the AIFF at the end of last season’s I-League and was dubbed the “best set-piece player in India” by then Mohun Bagan coach Shankarlal Chakraborty.

Lalmuanpuia has scored nine I-League goals for SLFC, which puts him fifth overall for the club in that particular competition. He is also only the second Lajong player to have scored goals in four consecutive I-League seasons for the team (Boithang Haokip scored in six consecutive years).

A knee injury last season seems to have cost him yard of pace, but he’s also taken on more responsibilities, leading the side as captain since the start of the 2017-18 season.

U-23 probables:

Goalkeepers: Mohammed Nawaz, Prabhsukhan Gill, Arshdeep Singh, Dheeraj Singh

Defenders: Nishu Kumar, Kamalpreet Singh, Provat Lakra, Boris Singh, Sajid Dhot, Sairuatkima, Sarthak Golui, Sahil Panwar, Gaurav Bora, Narender Gahlot, Mehtab Singh, Anwar Ali, Wung Muirang, Asish Rai, Jerry Lalrinzuala

Midfielders: Liston Colaco, Lalianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Vinit Rai, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul, Amarjit Singh, Deepak Tangri, Rohit Kumar, Suresh Singh, Komal Thatal, Rahul KP, Samuel Lyngdoh Kynshi

Forwards: Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Hitesh Sharma, Rahim Ali, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Rohit Danu, Jerry Mawihminthanga

(TSR file photo)

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