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India coach Wim Koevermans: I am overall happy with the game

India U-23 v Pakistan U-23

India U-23 v Pakistan U-23

Indian national coach Wim Koevermans maintained it was “interesting to see how the boys responded playing with 10-men.” Koevermans was speaking in the official post-match press conference after India’s 1-0 win over Pakistan in the first of the two matches of the International U-23 Friendly Series at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday.

“I am overall happy with the game. Pakistan started better but we took it over and had a lot of possession. In fact, I had expected a better start in the 2nd half but even then, Pakistan started better,” he stated. “I am glad that on Wednesday (August 20), we can again re-start with eleven Players,” he added.

“I like wing play and we have we have our strengths there. But we need to improve on the final pass,” Koevermans admitted. “The presence of Robin (Singh) upfront is great. This was our sixth match in preparation for the Incheon Asian Games. The boys came from different I-League clubs where they play differently. We have worked hard and tried to mould all into the formation we like to play,” he opined.

“I never like to pick out individual players. But I think one of our greatest quality is the manner we counter-attack. There’s great balance on that front and we are working hard on it. Hopefully, that will also be one of our strengths when we play better and much stronger opposition in the Asian Games. But at the same time, we need to defend as an unit.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Muhammad Shamlan Al-Mubarak felt Pakistan can “beat India in the next match.”

“Now that we have had a look at India, we will strategise accordingly. We need to recover fast. There are just a couple of days in between left for the match on the 20th. The atmosphere was fine,” he pronounced in the post-match press conference.

“We need to find a solution for everything. That’s football. Our boys took a lot of workload and gave their best. We stay confident about a positive result on 20th.”

Speaking on Pakistan, Koevermans said: “All I can say is that I am happy with their resistance. I look forward to another good match.”

“The atmosphere in the stadium was simply electric. This is what football is all about. It’s about the fans. I thank the crowd for their support and expect all to turn up to cheer for the National team the next time the two Teams meet.”

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)