PANAJI: Five members of FC Goa’s first-team squad have been called up for Indian national team duty for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers set to take place in Qatar next month.
Brandon Fernandes, Adil Khan, Dheeraj Singh, Glan Martins and Ishan Pandita will travel as part of the 28-member provisionary squad announced by the All Indian Football Federation today.
Brandon Fernandes and Adil Khan have been pivotal to the national team’s fortunes of late. All goals scored by the national team in the qualifiers have come through assists from Brandon with Adil scoring the late equaliser against Bangladesh.
Ishan Pandita, who got his first chance at international football in the two friendlies in March will again get a chance to shine. He will be joined by Dheeraj Singh, who starred in FC Goa’s historic AFC Champions League campaign last month with 26 saves (highest amongst all goalkeepers in the group stage) and 2 clean sheets.
Glan gets his chance
For Glan Martins, this will be the first opportunity to don the colours of the national team. The midfielder has become an integral part of the FC Goa blueprint ever since joining the Gaurs at fag end of the January transfer window.
His impressive performances in FC Goa colours have been appreciated by all and sundry. And now, he has been rewarded with a chance to play at the highest level.
Speaking on his first call to the national team, Glan Martins said, “As cliché as it sounds, it’s been a dream for me to represent India. So getting this call-up, is like a small milestone.
“There is still a lot of room for me to grow. This is an opportunity that I want to make the best out of. I will give my best as always and keep going”.
FC Goa’s Director of Football Ravi Puskur expressed delight at Glan’s selection to the national team. He said, “We’re extremely pleased for Glan who has been called up to National Team duty. He is extremely deserving of this opportunity. Ever since he joined us in January, his professional and balanced approach on and off the field has been impressive and his selfless and tireless performances on the pitch have spoken for themselves.
“I’m sure he’ll add an extra layer of steel to the midfield if given the opportunity to go out there and perform. Brandon and Glan showed they were well capable of going toe to toe against some of the best players in Asian football and I’m sure they’ll be able to perform at a similar level for the national team as well.”
The full squad travelling to Doha, Qatar is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gehlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra, Subhashish Bose
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronoy Halder, Suresh Singh, Lalengmawia Ralte, Abdul Sahal, Yasir Mohammad, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan
Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh
The fixtures for the Indian national team are as follows:
June 3: India vs Qatar (IST 10.30 pm).
June 7: Bangladesh vs India (IST 7.30 pm).
June 15: India vs Afghanistan (IST 7.30 pm).