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India football coach Constantine hails team's fighting spirit

News Agencies | Updated on: 29 March 2017, 12:05 IST

India registered their first win of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying campaign with a 1-0 triumph against Myanmar in a hard fought contest, courtesy of a fluent counterattack in the 90thminute of the match through the flanks by Udanata Singh, which was finally bundled home by Sunil Chhetri.

Following the win, Head Coach of the Indian National Team Stephen Constantine lauded the never-say-die attitude on the pitch and said, 'Myanmar had several chances to score, but we showed great spirit on the field today. We never gave up mentally and that aided us in our win.'

'We had three to four chances in the match, but we could only take the one in the end. It was a very tight game and boys showed fantastic spirit to earn the win,' he added.

'It was a huge game for us. Myanmar at home are always difficult to play', said skipper Sunil Chhetri. 'We had lost last time here but we supported each other till the end and getting three points is an immense result for us'.

Substitute Udanta Singh brushed aside his marker in the 90th minute and raced off towards Myanmar's defending half. With tired legs and perhaps aching muscles, skipper Sunil Chhetri followed Udanta's run and tapped Udanta's cross home first-time to hand India the lead.

India had earlier in the match created as many as four clear goal scoring opportunities. The best of which came to Jackichand Singh in the 31st minute, who failed to find the net from handshaking distance.

'Football is all about taking your chances. We took ours and they (Myanmar) did not take theirs. The credit goes to Myanmar for making it tough for us to play,' stated Constantine.

'Any coach makes substitution to try and change the game and our substitutions were brilliant on the field today. They really did the work for us'

India host Kyrgyz Republic next on June 13 in their second match of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying campaign after taking on Lebanon in an International Friendly on June 7.

'This win (against Myanmar ) does not matter much. We still have to take six points to be able to secure qualification to the final of the AFC Asian Cup 2019.'

'India can defeat anybody on their day, but the job is still far from done. We have to stay focused and concentrate on the next game', Constantine signed off.


First published: 29 March 2017, 12:05 IST