Post a heartbreaking loss to Oman in the first half of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 join qualifiers, Indian team manager Igor Stimac has stated that his team could have easily gone on to win the match, had they scored more goals in the first half of the competition itself.
On Thursday evening, Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri provided India the perfect start with a 24th-minute goal which gave India the lead. India not only took the lead but dominated possession in the first half of the competition. However, a late brace from Al-Mandhar Al Alawi hand Oman win in a match which India could have easily won.
Stimac also emphasised on the value of patience in a football game. He, moreover said that with experiences like these the team would learn to “kill” the game in the early phases of the match itself rather than taking it deep. It is worth highlighting here that India created many opportunities in the first half of the competition but could convert only one of them into a goal.
“We could have scored many goals in the first half and killed the game then and there. My players are fitter than the Oman players, but they are more experienced. A time will come when we are not going to lose games like this and put the game to bed early. But for that, we need to continue working hard and be patient,” Stimac was quoted as saying by the official website of All India Football Federation.’
The Indian coach backed the Indian players stating that they were quick learners and he is happy with the progress they are making.
“The players are quick learners and that’s what makes me believe that we can do great things. We need to understand that we need to progress step-by-step,” he stated.
“This is the new face of India and we have a lot of positive things to talk about, so let’s keep talking about them.”
“Everyone could see a new Indian team on the pitch – a team that was different from before, and one that has a bright future. We have many more options now in terms of players to choose from and we need to keep working on ourselves and move forward,” he added.
India will next face the defending Asian champions and FIFA World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar in their next qualifying match scheduled in Doha on 10 September, Tuesday.