August 13, 2016 11:45:47 pm
A goal each from the two strikers Sumeet Passi and captain Jeje Lalpekhlua, and another from Halicharan Narzary within the first 21 minutes were enough for a new-look Indian football team to romp home 3-0 in an unofficial friendly against Bhutan.
Passi (3rd), Jeje (18th)and Narzary (21st) found the net for India.
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 said.
“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 the ‘best-ever’ pre-season training camp on display, 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.
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