Turkmenistan came from behind to defeat India 2-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. India took the lead through Sandesh Jhingan in the first half before two second half goals from Arslan and Atayev Serdarali saw Turkmenistan earn all three points.
Here are five talking points from the match:
Coach Constantine must be credited for his squad selection
Stephen Constantine returned for his second stint at coaching India in January 2015. Since then a total 23 players have made their debut under his tutelage. “What have we done in the last five years to expect qualification? It's like doing well in exam and passing. And we haven't even studied for the exam”, said Constantine before their encounter against Turkmenistan.
Despite a poor outing at the qualifiers, credit must go to the coach for unearthing young talent on a regular basis. Over the course his fifteen months in charge, Stephen has improved India’s squad depth and gameplay by leaps and bounds. There may be a real possibility that he may be replaced in the near future but he will definitely sign off knowing he did is best.