The Indian national team finally marked their first win against Bangladesh at the FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. Although Igor Stimac’s men dominated possession throughout the game, it took two late goals from skipper Sunil Chhetri to secure all three points in a crucial encounter.
After the 2-0 win India head coach Igor Stimac spoke at the post-match press conference highlighting the quality of football that his team played.
“We presented football as it should be. That’s the way we want to play always. Of course, it’s not always possible. But, when we are favourites against lower-ranked teams then that’s something we would like to present – especially to our supporters,” he said.
“I’m very happy, mostly for the Indian football supporters today. On the pitch, my players – they did everything they could to get the win. It wasn’t possible early, but today they got a deserved win. They deserve all the credits. They executed the gameplan perfectly and that’s why we got the win,” he continued.
Stimac opened up on how he set the game plan for the Bangladesh encounter as he wanted his team to keep on attacking and forcing those errors from the opponent defenders.
“The best form of defence against lower-ranked teams is attacking. Keeping them away from the ball and dominating possession. Just to explain, if we didn’t do what we did throughout the game, we wouldn’t have scored the second goal. We invited Bangladesh to come at us and we would lose the touch when passing the ball. That’s why you never do that.”
The Croatian tactician sang praises of Sunil Chhetri and also explained his importance to this Indian team. He said, ” As you could say, many people over the last few years have been asking stuff like ‘when Sunil is going to retire,’ what are we going to do then?’ I mean he’s working on the pitch, in every training he’s by far our best player.
“Thank god we have him. I am grateful to God and at his mercy that we are here. We are competing in this tournament,” he explained.
Lastly, Stimac analysed India’s performances in the last two matches. He claimed that he would be happy even with zero points from these three matches if his players played with discipline and together as a team.
“I’ve told this before that even if we didn’t get a single point from these three games here, all I ask from my boys is to do well and present their country in discipline and play together as a team. If we are to lose the game, we will lose it as a team.
“It’s because we didn’t have any time whatsoever and have any preparation to do things much better against teams like Qatar or teams which are like us – not weaker than us. But, I’m very proud of my boys. They work their socks off every day and they are really serious. They are learning very quickly and I think we have a great future ahead,” he signed off.