Having posted their seventh straight win in international football, Indian players feel it is important that they “remained calm to sustain the momentum” in the 2019 Asian Cup Qualifier against Kyrgyz Republic.
India play Kyrgyz Republic in a crucial AFC Asian Cup qualifying match in Bengaluru on June 13. The hosts comfortably beat Nepal 2-0 in a warm-up game Mumbai on Tuesday, but they are not yet ready to bask in glory. Sandesh Jhinhgan, who is now making it a habit of scoring in almost every match, grinned when reminded about it.
“I am happy to help the team,” he uttered moments after India’s win.
“The clean sheet matters the most. We needed this victory because this gives us a good momentum for the match against Kyrgyz Republic. We need to build on it,” he added.
Jeje Lalpekhlua, whose sublime finish wrapped up proceedings for India, insisted that the team needs to “stay calm”.
“It was humid and a very difficult game. We fought hard and stayed together. We did not get any goal in the first half but stayed calm and patient. We kept working in the second half and it paid dividends,” he stated.
Seven consecutive victories in international football is no small achievement, but striker Robin Singh isn’t willing to read much into it.
“There is only one way, and that is to move forward from here. The match against Nepal was a winning step and it is time to focus on the match against Kyrgyz Republic,” he maintained.
The players had a morning recovery session at the pool and will resume practice from on Thursday.
“The victory against Nepal makes us more confident. We need to carry this confidence into our next match and need to fill in the areas which the coach will instruct us to,” Pritam Kotal, who floated innumerable crosses from the flanks against Nepal, said.
Midfield general Eugeneson Lyngdoh felt that the team played a “good game” against Nepal.
“This was a much-needed victory. We need to capitalise on the win. It will stir up the confidence of the players for sure.”
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who now has an all-win record in the three matches in which he has captained India, credited the coaching staff, the coach and his teammates for the success.
“Football is not just about one man. It’s a team playing together, and it’s not just the team which is taking the field. I am proud to be a part of the team,” Gurpreet said.