Jordan 2-1 India: Unfortunate not to score equaliser, says Stephen Constantine
- The coach says he did not want to field fatigued players and risk injury.
After India narrowly lost 2-1 against Jordan in Amman on Saturday (November 17), Head Coach Stephen Constantine dubbed India’s performance as “outstanding with being unfortunate to not get an equalizer”.
Debutant Nishu Kumar’s strike had reduced the deficit to one, after Jordan had taken a two-goal lead, only for Pronay Halder to miss a golden opportunity to equalize in the dying embers of the match.
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“The boys were outstanding and gave their all in the match. I could not have asked for more and I am extremely happy with the effort the bunch of players who played have put,” Constantine said after the game.
“We came here to play and gain valuable experience and I am delighted with the effort that they boys gave today, while learning to cope under pressure and playing out of positions”, Constantine added.
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“I am disappointed as we lost but looking at the bright side of things, we gave a great performance in the first half given that most players played out of position and we did not play with a striker.”
The Indian contingent that had travelled to Jordan faced logistical nightmares, with 7 players including the likes of Jeje and Udanta Singh being stuck in the Kuwait airport for more 32 hours and arriving in the host city just few hours before the kick-off.
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Although the Indian Team did not have one practice session before their clash, Constantine did not want to let players succumb to injury with less than two months for the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019.
“We asked the seven players that came in late how they were feeling and we gave them a few hours to find themselves. I did not want to risk any player that was not feeling right in his skin and we did not risk any on medical grounds,” Constantine said.
He further added that
“I am happy that no one got injured and that was one of my main concerns.”
Coach Constantine also handed out a debut to young Nishu Kumar, the 47th player to debut under the English Coach after he took up reins in February 2015.
“It is always good to see young players make their International debuts. But most importantly, it gives India a bigger pool of players to choose from as they gain experience,” Constantine said.
“I am extremely proud of Nishu. He and every other player gave their best in the game and I am delighted to see him score, even when he was playing out of position," Constantine added.
Before the AFC Asian Cup in January, the Indian National Team is slated to square off against Oman and play one other International Friendly in December, which is yet to be confirmed.Published 18 Nov 2018, 18:48 IST