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Stephen Constantine rues India’s missed chances against St Kitts & Nevis

“I thought we had enough chances to finish the game twice. We didn’t take those chances and in the end we got stunned from a corner,” Indian national football team head coach Stephen Constantine said after the game against St Kitts & Nevis

football Updated: Aug 25, 2017 10:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Indian football,Stephen Constantine,tri-nation football
India head coach Stephen Constantine was not very pleased with India’s performance against St Kitts & Nevis.(HT file photo)

India coach Stephen Constantine on Thursday lamented at his side’s poor finishing abilities, stating that the hosts should have finished the game on at least two occasions and not settled for the 1-1 draw that helped them lift the tri-nation title.

Addressing the media at the end of the game, Constantine said: “I thought we had enough chances to finish the game twice. We didn’t take those chances and in the end we got stunned from a corner, which for me was quite disappointing.

“But it’s football, it happens, we take a lesson from this and move on. I don’t think we started as brightly as we can or should do but then I have to rear myself in and say when was the last time any of them played a 90-minute game? That’s why I desperately needed these two games.”

While India drew first blood through Jackichand Singh, they failed to convert a number of chances upfront despite holding the ball through midfield. The draw also ended India’s run of nine consecutive victories that had helped them break inside the top 100 mark in the Fifa rankings.

READ | India win Tri-nation football series after draw with St Kitts & Nevis

Constantine further added that he also treated these matches as two friendly games. “There was no celebration going around near the touchline after lifting the trophy or dancing around. It was a tri-nation tournament. Ok, we won it, great. But let’s move on.”

However, St Kitts & Nevis coach Jacques Passy seemed extremely pleased with the draw. “To come to India and go back with a draw is an awesome result,” he said. While a win would have crowned his side champions, Passy’s side fell behind for the second consecutive time, and yet, managed to pull one back and hold on to a draw.

Passy stated that the reason the result doesn’t bother him is because he sees the tournament as a great learning curve for his side that came without several of their top stars. “The average age of my team is 22.8 years. With a team so young, you have to grow with games. These players are not mature enough,” he said.

“In the first part of the game, all we tried to do was to cut India’s game to gain confidence so that eventually we could get to a point where we could get back into the game. But the pressure was too much, too much for them. They lack experience. However, in the second half, tactically, I guess we were excellent. The pressure was high. The first half, well, it wasn’t about tactics, it was about experience.”

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 10:18 IST