India received a big boost ahead of their big AFC Cup qualifier game against Kyrgyzstan as they romped home to a 2-0 win over Nepal in an international friendly at the Mumbai Football Arean in Andheri, Mumbai – their 12th triumph in 14 games and seventh on the trot. Goals from Sandesh Jhingan and Jeje Lalpekhlua sealed the deal for India – leaving Stephen Constantine pleased with the efforts of his side in the game.
“These games are required to get the get the players back in rhythm playing for the national team. We learnt a good lesson in this game. We dominated the ninety minutes and that makes me happy,” quipped the 54-year-old.
However, the Englishman refused to read much into the performance but reiterated the importance of these kinds of friendlies.
“We need friendly games like these time and again. We are trying to get better with each game and a big test lies in the next match against Kyrgyzstan.
“It will be a different game. It will have a different feel and a different atmosphere.”
“Robin Singh is a fighter”
On a memorable night for the Indian team, a blot on the celebration would have been the performance of Robin Singh who looked off colour – having missed a good opportunity and failing to make much of an impact otherwise. However, the Indian coach didn’t want to lay into his number nine.
“The thing about Robin Singh is he is a fighter. He will give you his all. If it was his day he could have scored a hat-trick but today wasn’t to be,” exclaimed Constantine.
He further reiterated that one shouldn’t read much into his substitution at halftime as he was earmarked to be taken off even before the game had begun as Constantine looked to mix things up.
No Rane, no Brandon, no comments
The coach, however, didn’t want to speak about the non-selection of players like Jayesh Rane and Brandon Fernades, who, in spite of putting in some admirable performances for Aizawl in the I-League didn’t get the call-up to the national side.
“The best 35 players are here with the national team. That’s what I believe. I don’t comment on individual players,” stated the Englishman.
The Indian coach also didn’t want to discuss anything regarding the all-important meeting at Kuala Lumpur that is to be held tomorrow with representatives from AIFF, AFC, FIFA, PFAI, I-League and ISL expected to be there.
The coach also waved away any fears regarding the status of Rowlin Borges, who was substituted in the first half, stating that he will be ready to face Kyrgyzstan in a few days time.Published 06 Jun 2017, 22:15 IST