Kolkata, Aug 10 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): Striker Sunil Chettri is expected to don India colours for the first time this season when the senior national football squad will take on Portuguese 2nd division’s Casa Pia AC in Portugal on Wednesday in a first practice match of the week.
Former Dempo star Chettri joined the India camp in Portugal recently taking leave from his American club -Wizards- in a bid to serve the country in next January’s Asian Cup championship, which was hailed by India’s captain Bhaichung Bhutia.
The Wizards signed Chhetri from Dempo SC in March, making him the first Indian to join an MLS team.
Chettri had said he would be happy to rejoin the national squad, which was currently training in Portugal under chief coach Bob Houghton.
Bhutia, also expected to join the India camp after about six weeks of lay-off following a thyroid problem, thanked Chettri profusely for wishing to serve the country.
”His (Chettri) inclusion in the squad will help India in the Asian Cup challenge as we are in very tough group- South Korea, Australia and Bharain, ” Bhutia said.
The 34-year-old Sikkimese, who was here for treatment under a specialist physican, was declared fit to rejoin the India camp.
After Wednesday’s practice match the Bob Houghton’s boys will play Real Massamá SC in the second a day after.
The venue for the first match will be Casa Pia Ground, Lisbon, while the venue for the second match will be Massamá Ground, Lisbon.