It could have not been a better start to the New Year than with clinching the coveted SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015. In a Final which perhaps tested the credentials of a young Indian side, Stephen Constantine’s boys showcased tenacity and unity as they trounced Afghanistan 2-1 to lift the SAFF Cup for a record 7th time.
After the celebrations ended and the festivities died, Head Coach of the Indian National Team was all smiles at the official post-match Press Conference dubbed the win as “one of the best achievements in my coaching career.”
“Everybody connected with Indian football and we won against all odds. They (Afghanistan) thought that we would push into the attack, but we know what we were doing.”
“We had to be on our toes at all times and everybody worked their socks-off and functioned as a unit. At the end of the day we won and that is what matters.”
Constantine also dedicated the SAFF Cup win to “Indian football and the fans.”
“I I am not a one man band. This Trophy is for all of us right from to lads to the fans. It belongs to everybody”, Constantine stated.
“We should all stand up for Indian football.”
Meanwhile Sunil Chhetri, whose goal in the 101st minute proved to be the winner, was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament with three goals in four matches.
“It gives me immense joy to be crowned Champions”, Chhetri, who was sitting besides Constantine told the journalists. “It is not easy to win a tournament with a young side and we did that.”
“I told the boys that we should not lose today, no matter what as if we did, Afghanistan would be Champions for their entire lives.”
Chhetri also thanked the fans for creating an electric atmosphere. “The fans were wonderful today. They cheered for us even when we were a goal down and that gave us motivation to win the match.”
“I want to dedicate this win to Robin Singh, as it was really unfortunate that we lost him.”
(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media