After the Indian football team finished third in the King’s Cup, coach Igor Stimac on Sunday said that the “competition” for every place in the team makes his position very “helpless.” “I have competition in my team for every place, and that’s what makes me helpless as a coach,” All India Football Federation (AIFF) quoted Stimac as saying.
India lost their first match against Curacao 3-1 in the King’s Cup, but the Blue Tigers were able to bounce back in their match against Thailand as they defeated them 1-0 on Saturday. Anirudh Thapa scored for the Blue Tigers in the match against Thailand.
“This result against Thailand was a result of excellent defending. That was fantastic. Nothing to say about that. Just congratulations. I was a defender playing at the top level. I can show a few things to the boys, and that’s what we have been doing in the last two weeks — explaining things to the players, and working on the pitch,” Stimac said.
“In the second half, Thailand was very organised. They were trying to attack from the wings and put quality crosses. But as I said before, my defenders were fantastic today. It was just not possible for Thailand to score today with my defenders working like this,” he added.
Stimac said that the game against Thailand could have gone either way, but he credited the team’s defenders for sticking to their guns. “After we scored the goal, we allowed Thailand to take possession. We didn’t insist on possession. We tried to hold, and hurt them on counter attacks,” he reflected. “Off one such counter, we could have finished the game in the first half itself. But two of my players were a little bit indecisive in front of the goalkeeper,” Stimac said.
“I would like to thank all my players, staffs for helping to fulfill what we wanted to do in the last two weeks. Congratulations to everyone in AIFF too. I’m particularly happy because the people in India supported us after we lost the first game. I’m proud of the players. There are so many young players in the team,” he added.