NEW DELHI: National Coach Stephen Constantine, presently in charge of the Indian U-23 National Team feels that were quite “some lessons learnt” from India’s International Friendly against Singapore U-23.
When reminded that a dominant India had actually won the match by a solitary goal, Constantine smiled, adding: “We gave away the ball too many times and needed to capitalise on our chances.”
India U-23 rode on a Germanpreet Singh left-footer to win 1-0 at the Chao Chu Kan Stadium, the same venue where India had lost to Singapore 0-2 in another International Friendly in 2013.
Speaking to www.the-aiff.com from Singapore over phone, Constantine, however, added that he was “pleased with the performance of the boys.”
“The boys were playing together for the first time ever in an International match. The manner they reacted pleases me. You need to consider the fact that they hadn’t a match played together as a Team prior to this,” he stated.
The win was the 9th International victory for Constantine, the previous 8 having been achieved with the Senior National team. The match also is Constantine’s 4th away victory in an International match.
“Winning an International Friendly away from home is always pleasing. The fighting spirit was evident from the kick-off itself,” he added. “Technically we were better, we were fitter, we were stronger. We dominated but just couldn’t make the right move at the right time.”
“But we can’t get carried away. There is a lot of work still to be done, and as I said, we have learnt a few lessons too,” he reiterated.
India next play Singapore in the second International Friendly on July 12. The two International Friendlies have been arranged by the AIFF to help the U-23 squad prepare for the forthcoming AFC U-23 Championships where India have been drawn with Qatar, Turkmenistan and Syria from July 19 in Doha.