After losing to Tajikistan in the opening game of the Intercontinental Cup on Sunday, Indian head coach Igor Stimac stated that the team faced a number of problems in the defense. Indian team played in the absence of defenders like Sandesh Jhingan and Mohammad Anas. Blue Tigers, after gaining a 2-0 lead in the half-time, conceded four goals in the second half of the game. “We had so many problems defensively – with Sandesh and Anas not ready yet, I did not want to push any of them because the Olympic Qualifiers are much more important for us and I tried to save them,” Goal.com quoted Igor Stimac as saying.
India after dominating in the first half, tables turned in the second half as Tajikistan came out with great enthusiasm and scored two goals within the first 11 minutes of the restart. Indian defense looked scattered as Tajikistani players find gaps to penetrate the defense. Four goals were scored by Tajikistan in the second half. Stimac said that the team will take the positives from here and will learn how to play the competitive game throughout the match.
He further stated that he told players, things can change in three days and the team have to forget the defeat. “We need to take the positives from the first half and analyse the mistakes we made. We need to become a competitive team that can play 95 minutes. We are becoming a good passing side that can attack and combine well. I told the players that football is like this, everything can change in three days. So we need to forget about this,” Stimac concluded.
India will play their next game against DPR Korea on July 13.