Indian football team coach Stephen Constantine has stated that after the side's two consecutive wins against Chinese Taipei and Kenya, they got a bit carried away against New Zealand last night. India, however, still top the table with six points from three games and a goal difference of plus seven.
India got off to a great start at the ongoing Intercontinental Cup as they beat Chinese Taipei by a comfortable scoreline of 5-0. They followed that up with an impressive 3-0 performance against Kenya in front of a packed stadium in Sunil Chhetri’s 100th international appearance. However, the lads were beaten 2-1 by New Zealand last night at the Mumbai Football Arena, courtesy of goals by Andre Earnest De Jong (49th min) and Moses Dyer (86th min) after Chhetri had put the hosts ahead in the 47th min.
Head coach Stephen Constantine lamented India’s laidback approach to the match after the disappointing outcome on a day when the
"When you win two matches back-to-back sometimes you get carried away. Sometimes we acted naïve and made costly mistakes. These are the things that we need to rectify," Constantine said in a post-match interview.
After two wins from two matches, Constantine opted to rest some of the players as he made seven changes to his starting line-up although and making five substitutions as the game progressed. The Indian team started without the likes of Sandesh Jhingan, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and other first-team regulars, with Jhingan and Lalpekhlua later getting introduced into the game in the second half.
"We gave young guys, who did not play an opportunity to play and that is why this tournament is good for us because we also have to shuffle our ranks and test permutations."
"We are using the games we have between now and the AFC Asian Cup to prepare for the Continental Championship and hence, we were always going to change the team and give younger players a chance to play," he added.