Indian football team to play for a win vs Kyrgyz Republic: Stephen Constantine

The Indian football team will not be complacent when they face Kyrgyz Republic in their final AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualification group league match, according to head coach Stephen Constantine

football Updated: Mar 26, 2018 15:57 IST
HT Correspondent
Indian football team,Stephen Constantine,Kyrgyz Republic
Stephen Constantine attends the press conference ahead of Indian football team’s AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifier against Kyrgyz Republic.(AIFF)

A day prior to India’s last AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualification group league match against Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek, coach Stephen Constantine has said his side will be going for the win on Tuesday.

“We haven’t come here to lose. Our objective was to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and we have achieved our aim. From now on, it’s part of our preparation for the Asian Cup to be held next year,” he said at the pre-match press conference.

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India are currently at pole position in Group A with 13 points from 5 matches. The last time the two teams met in Bengaluru, Sunil Chhetri’s sublime strike proved to be the difference between the two teams.

Constantine also dismissed speculations that the cold weather in Bishkek may play a crucial role. “The weather is not playing any crucial part,” he clarified.

Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who was also present at the press conference stated that there isn’t any added pressure on the side.

“Kyrgyz Republic are a very strong side. They recently won against Myanmar and have also qualified for the Asian Cup. We respect them as an opponent. We want to win and as coach said, the match is a part of our preparation,”

“I always play to win and never to lose. When you represent the National Team you are never playing for a draw. The result might be a draw but we won’t play for a draw,” he quipped.

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The Kyrgyz Republic are three points shy of India having played 5 matches in the qualification round and the Central Asian team have already qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 akin to their counterpart.

Gurpreet also highlighted the importance of a solid back four which lays the bedrock for the success of any team.

“Not only us, every team needs a solid back line. We have conceded few and have been able to put pressure on our opponents. The plan worked for us. We’ll look forward to continue doing that,” he felt.

First Published: Mar 26, 2018 15:48 IST