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Indian football team favourites in Tri-nation final: St. Kitts & Nevis coach

St. Kitts and Nevis coach Jacques Passy says Stephen Constantine’s Indian football team is in great shape at the moment, having won eight matches in a row, and will be favourites in the Tri-nation series final when the two teams meet

football Updated: Aug 23, 2017 09:49 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Tri-nation series,Tri-nation football tournament,Indian football team
St. Kitts & Nevis (red jersey) played a hard-fought draw against Mauritius in the Tri-nation Series football tournament in Mumbai on Tuesday, and will play Indian football team in the final match on Thursday.(PTI)

St Kitts & Nevis will play Indian football team in the final fixture of the tri-nation series on Thursday, and their head coach, Jacques Passy has termed the hosts favourite in title clash.

“At this moment India look favourite to win this tournament,” the Mexican revealed shortly after his side’s 1-1 draw against Mauritius.

Reflecting on his side’s hard-fought draw against the African island nation, he said they cannot beat India on the back of such a performance.

“At the level we played today (Tuesday), we will not win the match against India. But we have the potential to do much better so it is the collective responsibility of my staff, players and myself to make sure we do better,” said Passy.

“The 1-1 draw leaves me with a smile because at the end of the day if we beat India on Thursday, we hang above them and will be the champions of this tournament. Losing this game would have been very rough,” he added.

St Kitts & Nevis will be playing their second game in less than 48 hours when they take on India, giving them less than ideal time to recover. India, on the other hand, played Mauritius on Saturday, and, have rested for four days before the final match. But Passy brushed aside the notion that scheduling would play a defining role to their success in the tournament.

“I have a ‘no excuses’ philosophy. There are no excuses to be made and I will not even speak on the matter any further. If we win, we are champions and if not India will be the champions. We don’t even talk about those 48 hours, that is the way it was programmed,” said the 41-year old.

“Initially, we were to play on the 25th but there is a very important event in Mumbai on Friday and we understand that when you go to another country to adapt to cultures. Even if we do not win, I will never mention the 48 hours again,” said Passy mentioning how Ganesh Chaturthi led to the rescheduling.

Commenting on the whether the weather conditions in India would play a role he said: “The weather is five degrees more than the StKitts and Nevis so it’s not the end of the world.”

“Our major concern in not the weather, or the 48 hours, but India! Mr. Stephen Constantine’s team is very good. They have won eight games in a row, myself having watched all of those matches. I know their strengths and I hope I can take advantage of their weaknesses,” ended Passy.

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 09:49 IST