The greatest Indian Football Team ever? Stephen Constantine certainly thinks the current one is up there
The Indian football team sealed their place in the 2019 AFC Cup with a 4-1 win over Macau extending their lead at the top of the group after making it four wins out of four. A couple pf lucky deflections to go with goals from Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sunil Chhetri sealed the deal for Stephen Constantine's men as the 2019 Asian Cup now truly beckons.
Speaking about the game and the achievement, the Indian coach was certainly not one to shy away from his opinions.
"We got there in the end and qualified for the Asian Cup. I am extremely proud of the boys. They have taken my demands and my manners and the pressure I put them through in the training every day.
"This has got to be one of the best teams in Indian Football if not THE best. I have been helped immensely by the support staff. I have also been speaking to the clubs. This is just not our success, this is a success of the whole country.
"We have had ups and downs. But this is a huge up."
The coach showered praise on Indian forward Balwant Singh - who yet again for the second match running against Macau changed the outlook of the game. The Indians had looked stoic and laboured in the movement and passing in the first half.
However, all that changed once Balwant Singh came onto the pitch at the half-time for Jackichand Singh and that meant Sunil Chhetri reverted to the left wing with Halicharan Narzary coming to the right. The move paid dividends early on Balwant's movement and graft created nuisance in the final third and it was his glorious assist that helped India back into the game.
"Balwant is what exactly what he did the last game. He came in and scored two last time. I was actually sad that he didn't score this time around.
"This time he just changed the whole momentum of the game. With Sunil (Chhetri) out wide on the left, it also gave him more time on the ball (something he failed to do in the first half) and space. And everything came together for us in the second half.
"I am very proud of him. He has a great work ethic and an absolute professional."
India still have two games to go - away to the Kyrgyz Republic and another one at Kanteerava against Myanmar.