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Intercontinental Cup 2018: ‘Everything clicked for India against Chinese Taipei’

India kick-started their Intercontinental Cup campaign in sublime fashion thumping Chinese Taipei 5-0 in the opening match of the tournament at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai on Friday.

football Updated: Jun 02, 2018 14:29 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Mumbai
Intercontinental Cup 2018,India vs Chinese Taipei,Indian football team
India defeated Chinese Taipei 5-0 in the Intercontinental Cup 2018 in Mumbai on Friday.(PTI)

India blanked Chinese Taipei 5-0 and chief coach Stephen Constantine said everything clicked for the home team in the Intercontinental Cup 2018 opener in Mumbai on Friday.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri scored his third career hat-trick last night as India started their campaign on a rousing note but Constantine cautioned his players not to get carried away with the result as they will play much stronger opponents later in the tournament.

“We have played well in quite a few games in the past three-and-half years. Today (last night) everything clicked and worked for us. The boys gave everything they had,” Constantine told reporters at the post match press conference.

“There were some very encouraging performances from the young players and I am very pleased,” he added.

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India will next play Kenya on Monday which will be skipper Chhetri’s 100th international appearance.

“We had a good game but we cannot get carried away. We have much tougher games coming up against much stronger opponents. I am happy with the result and for the players but for me it is past now,” Constantine said.

The coach also praised Chhetri, saying he has the capability to turn the game at any point of time.

“There’s no surprise (on the way Chhetri played) and that is why I play him. He is capable of turning the game at any given time. He is a fantastic player,” Constantine said.

The coach also noted that Anirudh Thapa and Subhasish Bose both were impressive. “It was Anirudh’s first full start for India, the same for Subhasish Bose and I thought they both had good games, which is why we need with these kinds of games. The kid (Thapa) has great potential and he works hard. Obviously we need that to continue and he could be in the national team for the next 10 years,” Constantine added.

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Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei coach Gary White said it was an learning experience for his young team.

“Everything went right for us in terms of future. We had six U-23 players and two U-19 players on the pitch. In addition, we had four players who made their debut,” White said.

“This was a learning experience for us. We will try to fix our grey areas. Unless you try these players you will never know,” he added.

White also heaped praise on India captain Chhetri.

“He showed my young players how to deal at the senior level. My players will definitely utilise the experience in a positive manner. Congratulations to Sunil for his wonderful career and the goals. The youngsters of my team will certainly look up to him some day,” he signed off.

First Published: Jun 02, 2018 14:29 IST