Relief, not ecstasy, filled Gouramangi Singh after he made it 1-1 against Bahrain in the Asian Cup, a match India lost 2-5.
Being the first Indian to score in Asia's biggest tournament since Chuni Goswami in 1964 itself called for celebration. "I couldn't celebrate much. All that I could think about was at least we were equal again,"
Singh told HT, minutes after a thrilling 2-2 draw between Churchill Brothers and I-League 4 leaders East Bengal on Saturday.
The India Player of the Year Award, thus, meant little to Singh personally. "It's a team that plays out there, not me. I'm happy with the support I have got and the belief that we have developed in each other."
India's Asian Cup performance was not very inspiring but Singh chose to focus on the positives. "I think we did OK. It was an eye-opener. I wish we could play more such matches every 2-3 months. I'm sure the federation will do something about this." About India's defence that copped a lot of criticism Singh said, "When I was in Australia two weeks ago for trials, I saw boys aged 17-18 pushing forward as soon as the ball was cleared. We were never trained like that," said Singh.