Indian football team finally managed to break the shackles in the ongoing WCQ with a 2-0 win over Bangladesh on Monday. A second-half brace from captain Sunil Chhetri was enough as India moved up to third in the group standings. In doing so, Chhetri became the second-highest active international goal scorer overtaking Lionel Messi. In the post-match press conference, Igor Stimac praised the attitude of the Blue Tigers and Chhetri’s brilliance against Bangladesh.
Igor Stimac heaped full praise on the players for executing the plans well and earning a hard-earned win at last. Regarding the way India played throughout the match, he said, “We presented football as it should be. That’s the way we want to play it. Of course it’s not always possible to play like that. But when we’re the favourites against lower ranked teams, that’s something we would like to present, especially to our supporters.”
India created a total of 17 chances throughout the game, with five attempts on goal. This clearly shows how they managed the situation well as compared to their opponents.
Credit to the team effort
Further, Igor Stimac acknowledged that the entire team played its part as an entity and that was the reason for this well-deserved victory. “All the credit to the players. They executed the game plan perfectly. That’s why we deserved to win. Just to explain, if we didn’t keep doing what we did so well throughout the game, we couldn’t have scored the second. We didn’t let Bangladesh to come at us,” uttered the coach.
Sunil Chhetri’s impact on the game
Igor Stimac went on to applaud Chhetri’s heroics in the second half as India snatched a much-needed win. He said, ”Many people last year were talking about when he’s going to retire. Sunil is sincerely working on the pitch. In every training, he’s by far the best player. We’re really grateful that by God’s mercy he’s here with us.”
Chhetri opened the scoring in the 79th minute with a brilliantly planted header down onto the ground and beyond Anisur Rahman’s reach. Then he rounded off the scoring with a neat finish into the top-left corner, stamping India’s victory.
The learning process
Furthermore, Igor Stimac didn’t forget to reiterate how India reacted so well on the field with so little practice before the qualifiers. Regarding the evolution of their gameplay, he said, ”Even if we didn’t get a single point here from the three games, all I could ask my boys is to do well and represent the country and to get up as a team.”
“If we lose the game we’ll lose it as a team. We didn’t have any time whatsoever for preparation to do things much better against Qatar and teams like us. But I’m very proud of my boys that they work their socks off everyday. They’re learning very quickly.”
Lastly, Igor Stimac also thanked the Qatar government and the AIFF to allow the team to travel in the current situation before signing off.