A goal each from the two strikers Sumeet Passi and Captain Jeje Lalpekhlua plus another from Halicharan Narzary within the first 21 minutes of the game was enough for a new-look India to romp home 3-0 in the unofficial international friendly against Bhutan in Thimphu on Saturday, August 13 afternoon.
Speaking post match, National Coach Stephen Constantine admitted that the “altitude posed a serious threat.”
“The altitude was a bit of a problem as it is for any Team that comes here but as we had worked so hard in Delhi in the pre season Camp, it didn’t prove much of a hindrance for us. It shows that if we get to work with the boys for around 12 days or more, we can overcome most obstacles,” he told AIFF Media. “I need to thank the AIFF General Secretary (Mr. Kushal Das) for allowing us the time to train in Delhi.”
The dominance was totally one-sided and with the fitness levels attained in pre-season training Camp on display, Stephen Constantine’s boys were omnipresent. The shape, the support for the other, the slowing down, the one-twos and the sudden bursts which created chances came with a stamp of authority.
The boys, however, failed to add to their tally despite Bhutan being reduced to10-men for the last 36 minutes. There were chances and once Jeje’s shot even hit the inside of the bar and bounced back.
Constantine nevertheless mentioned that the boys “could have done better.”
“I am pleased that we won the game but we could have done a lot better. But I also need to remind myself that the boys haven’t kicked a ball in the last three months and there were a whole lot of new Players who are breaking into the National squad. It was an opportunity for them to make a case for being selected in the next Camp,” he stated.
India made full use of all their six substitutions with four newcomers – Germanpreet Singh, Vinit Rai, Issac Vanmalsawma and Chinglesana Singh – having a feel what International Football is all about.
Subrata Pal – Aiborlang Khongjee (46′ Germanpreet Singh), Dhanpal Ganesh (46′ Chinglesana Singh), Sandesh Jhingan (79′ Kaushik Sarkar), Fluganco Cardozo – Jackichand Singh (70′ Lallianzuala Changte), Rowlin Borges (67′ Vinit Rai), Pronoy Halder, Halicharan Narzary (46′ Issac Vanmalsawma) – Sumeet Passi, Jeje Lalpekhlua [C]
(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)