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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Not getting carried away with win - Stephen Constantine

Sunil Chhetri overtook Lionel Messi in international goals as cricket-mad India stunned Thailand 4-1at the AFC Asian Cup 2019, the veteran striker scoring twice in their Group A opener to surpass the Barcelona superstar.

football Updated: Jan 07, 2019 04:15 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Abh Dhabi
India's forward Sunil Chhetri, left, and India's midfielder Anirudh Thapa celebrate after their third goal against Thailand.
India's forward Sunil Chhetri, left, and India's midfielder Anirudh Thapa celebrate after their third goal against Thailand.(AP)

India coach Stephen Constantine Sunday implored his players to not get carried away by the stunning 4-1 defeat of Thailand in their AFC Asian Cup opener in Abu Dhabi.

A superb second-half performance saw the India pump in three goals and record their first Asian Cup win since 1964.

“We try to win every match that we play in. We don’t go into a match expecting to win 4-1 or 5-1. However, we are not trying to get carried away with the emotion,” said Constantine.

“We still have two games left and we still need another two points to qualify from the group stages. After we have qualified, we can get a little bit excited but our primary job is still to qualify out of the group stages.

India will be playing hosts UAE and bahrain in their upcoming Group A matches.

READ: Real Madrid slip 10 points behind Barcelona after shock defeat by Real Sociedad

“It is a cliché as it is just another match for us. It is another win that we wanted and have got in the AFC Asian Cup. Tomorrow morning, we train again,” Constantine added.

India are the second youngest side in the Asian Cup with an average age of 25 years.

“We gave a good testament of ourselves against Thailand and we are a young side that is capable of a lot many things. People got a taste of what we can do, today.” Although India started slowly and the game was tied 1-1 at half time, three goals in the second half left Thailand stunned.

“The main thing was to make the most of our chances and that we did today. I am happy that we are converting from the chances that we are making,” he further said.

“We do start a little slow as the first 15-20 minutes can be a little nervous. It was important to not concede a goal in those minutes and that is what we did,” Constantine concluded.

First Published: Jan 07, 2019 04:14 IST

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