India can win AFC Cup title: Houghton

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Hyderabad, Aug 6 (UNI) Pleased with India's performance in the group matches, footballcoach Bob Houghton today said his wards have the ability to go all the way and win the title.

''We know we are in for a chance to win the tournament and qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup. It will be a big boost for Indian football. We will be playing against the best teams in Asia after so many years, that is a big thing,'' Houghton told mediapersons here.

''We are pleased to top difficult Group A and the boys are high on confidence. We will start with the same team that played against Turkmenistan,'' he added.

India will miss the services of star midfielder NP Pradeep, who aggravated his hamstring injury in the last match against Turkmenistan.

''Pradeep will not play in the semifinal. We will decide on him and who will replace him tomorrow. (Mahesh) Gawli will also not play,'' Houghton stated. ''Steven (Dias) and Climax (Lawrence) have sore ankles but they should be okay by tomorrow. Pradeep is a bigger problem as he has aggravated his hamstring injury.'' The Englishman, however, sounded a note of caution, stating that Myanmar will a tough opponent.

''In international football it is dangerous for a coach to start thinking beyond the next match. I will think of tomorrow's match only at the moment,'' he affirmed.

''We should win against Myanmar but then they are a good team, they are technically sound and play fast-paced football. Their only drawback could be the average height of the players.'' UNI XC AB RKM RK2100

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