BENGALURU: India coach, Stephen Constantine has declared that the 1-0 win over Kyrgyzstan in their Group A day two clash, was a serious statement of intent, as they pushed to end end their eight-year absence from the AFC Asian Cup finals.
The Blue Tigers stunned Kyrgyzstan 1-0 at home yesterday in their second Group A qualifier to record their eighth consecutive win (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).
“More than anyone else, India deserved this. Not only the boys who played out there, everyone in the back office, the fans, and the staff played their part to get this result. I believe, the entire nation deserved this”, Stephen exuded in the post-match press conference at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru after his team clinched a pristine victory over the 132-ranked Kyrgyzstan.
On being asked about his team’s 8-match winning run, he quipped, “How about 9?” He added more, “I’m not a person who looks into the numbers too much. But 13 wins in 15 matches is really remarkable. Be it amateur level or Intentional, producing this sort of result day in and day out is truly applaudable.”
Moreover, the British coach went on to thank the National Media for their untiring effort throughout.
“In this digital era, you guys are doing a great work to reach out to more people. Be it Twitter, Facebook or the Print media- we thank everyone for their extended support which motivates us more to push our limits”, Stephen maintained.
While Sunil’s 54th goal donning the National Colour proved to be the difference between the two sides, gaffer lavished his praise for “a perfect team game.”
“Right from Gurpreet to Sunil- everyone played a terrific brand of football to snatch this victory. My boys have proven how closely knit they are. We knew the match would be a taxing one and it actually was. They have shown their mettle to stay top of the table.”
On being asked whether the attackers squandered a few opportunities, the Englishman joked, “Let’s not get greedy.”
“We’re extremely pleased with this result. Although a few more chances were created, I’ll take a 1-0 win for India any day”, Stephen stated.
Referring the crucial goal by Sunil Chhetri, he commented, “The last goal is the most important one always. On another aspect, we have one foot in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 now. We have to fight and get the results in the upcoming fixtures to get the job done. Right now it’s about enjoying the moments. I’m Extremely proud of my boys.”