India suffer first defeat in Portugal

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Indian national football team succumbed to its first defeat during the ongoing two-month training tour of Portugal after it went down 0-1 to a local third division side Sintrense in the fourth practice match at Lisbon.
Bob Houghton's boys conceded the only goal of the match in the 40th minute and were unable to find an equaliser thereafter at the Sporting Clube Academy training ground.
Once again Houghton started with Abhishek Yadav and Mohammed Rafi [  ] as the two strikers up front but the duo found it difficult to get going and were also let down by the midfield.
Like previous three games, Houghton made several changes at the breather with as many as nine substitutions taking place. Goalkeeper Subrata Paul and winger Clifford Miranda were the only two players to complete the 90 minutes.
After the change of ends, India [  ] came out attacking in search of an equaliser but failed to find the back of the rival net.
The visitor's best effort came in the 65th minute through Baljit Sahni, whose powerful shot rattled the crossbar.
India had earlier beaten Portuguese third division sides Desportivo das Caldas (4-1) and Desportivo Monsanto (6-2) in their first two practice matches during the first half of their tour at Vieria de Leiria, a small town between Lisbon and Porto.
The Indians then shifted their base to the training centre of the Sporting Clube Academy from August 1 for another one-month training.
They started the second phase of their training tour on a positive note, beating Portuguese second division side Atletico Clube 1-0 in their third practice game.
The Indian squad will be strengthened by the return of captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who will be back after treating his thyroid problem in Kolkata [  ], and Sunil Chhetri who has been released by his Major League Soccer club Kanasas City Wizards.
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