THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

India coach Stephen Constantine: We have defeated Guam, not Iran

Indian national football team fans at Bengaluru
Indian national football team fans at Bengaluru

Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

After registering their first win of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, even after being down to 10 men for 52 minutes, Indian National Team Head Coach Stephen Constantine praised the Indian team for their “togetherness”, “unity” and “sticking together come what may.”

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Constantine said, “For a team to hold on 52 minutes or so with 10 men needs a lot of hard-work and discipline and we did that today. It is difficult when you play with a man down, the players need to give their 10% extra and they gave their all today.”

“I am very pleased with the character showcased by the team. We controlled the tempo in the first half and created several opportunities. At the same time, we must not be carried away as we are still in a team building process and have defeated only Guam, not Iran”

“The team spirit has always been there, we just capitalized on it today”, Constantine added.

The man of the moment, Robin Singh, whose sole goal led India to register a 1-0 win over Guam, credited his teammates for his splendid performance. “I was just at the right place at the right time to score. My teammates did all the work. The team is always bigger than a particular person and I thank my teammates for the support,” opined Robin sitting beside Constantine at the post-match press conference.

“It was a world class finish by Robin Singh and I give all the credit to India for their performance and getting the result they needed,” Gary White, Head Coach of the Guam National Team, had expressed earlier in the post match press-conference.

Constantine handed Romeo Fernandes his international debut against Guam, making him the 500th player to debut for India. “I don’t pick players because they are debutants, I pick them because of what they show me as we need to expand our pool of players and give them (the players) international exposure.”

Constantine dubbed the win over Guam as a “team effort right from the players to the support staff.”

“It is our first points in the World Cup Qualifiers and we have been unlucky in several of the games before this fixture (three narrow 2-1 losses in five matches). We often forget our support staff but I need to thank them for the win today.”

The British coach also thanked the “Blue Army of the Indian National Team”, the “West Block Blues”, for their support during the course of the match and said, “You guys are awesome. It is a pleasure to have you in our corner.”

“We all know what the ‘West Block Blues’ can do and they did it today. It was electrifying to see them cheer us on to the win,” added Robin Singh.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)