Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac admitted that the players worked their socks off en-route to their 2-0 win over Bangladesh on Monday evening. Skipper Sunil Chhetri scored a couple of goals in the second half to propel India to their first win in the ongoing 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.
It was back in June 2019 that India had won its last international match before they stepped into the field on Monday evening against Bangladesh at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, in Doha. It was only after pressing hard for almost 80 minutes that two late goals from skipper Sunil Chhetri helped India break its 11-match winless streak. It was also India’s first win in the ongoing 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.
The win was a huge relief for Indian coach Igor Stimac, with his team now climbing up to the third position in Group E of the WCQ, behind leaders Qatar and second-placed Oman. By logging full points, the Indians kept their hopes alive for qualification to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, in China. Igor heaped praise on his boys for the clinical display and admitted that the team has a great future ahead.
"Even we had not got a single point here of three games, all I had asked from my boys is to do well and represent their country in a disciplined manner. I am very proud of my boys. They worked their socks off, they are learning and I think we have a great future," said Igor Stimac, after the win over Bangladesh.
The Croat feels that the continuous pressure mounted on the Bangladeshi side was the reason for the emphatic win last night. Stimac admitted that if India had a laid-back attitude after scoring the first goal, the second strike would have been hard to come by. India will face Afghanistan in their last WCQ game on June 15 at the same venue.
"The best defence against lower-ranked teams is attacking - keeping them away from the ball. Just to explain, if we didn't keep doing what we were doing right throughout the game, we wouldn't have scored the second and allowed Bangladesh to come at us," added the manager.