The morning after India went down to hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) in their second group match of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, head coach Stephen Constantine said that the team now “needs to get ready for the next game” against Bahrain.
“We have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next game. We need to aim for a win and get something from that game. Hopefully, we can get the result to qualify,” Constantine said.
India will next play Bahrain on January 14 and a victory will ensure them a spot in the Round of 16.
Talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri also echoed Constantine’s words.
“We are still in the running. We are ready to face Bahrain. As a team, we are united. We are ready to fight. That’s our game plan against Bahrain,” Chhetri asserted.
Against the UAE, the Indians muffed several gilt-edged opportunities, hit the bar twice and eventually went down 0-2.
Referring to the match, Constantine explained: “I said to the boys you did not lose this game. You have shown what you are capable of. Even they (UAE players) were surprised and did not believe that we were this good.
“We are only going to get better with this kind of games. The team has an average age of 25. The players will get only better from here. We had four clear chances to score but UAE scored with the half chance they had.”
“It was a tight game. If we could have taken our chances it could have been different. UAE are a good side and they converted their chances,” the India skipper said.