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Indian coach Stimac has a problem of plenty

It was an encouraging display by a young Indian despite the absence of many first team regulars like Sunil Chhetri

Bengaluru, June 10: Indian football team's newly-appointed head coach Igor Stimac admitted that he has a problem of plenty when it comes to selection as there is healthy competition for every slot in the team.

Talking in a jovial manner after India's 1-0 win over Thailand, which helped them finish third in the King's Cup, the Croat said, "I've competition in my team for every place, and that's what makes me helpless as a coach".

It was an encouraging display by a young Indian side to beat a very good Thailand team despite first team regulars like Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Pritam Kotal and Pronay Halder playing no part in the match at all.

Anirudh Thapa scored the winner for India the lead on the 17th minute.

It was the Blue Tigers' second straight win over the War Elephants, having beaten them 4-1 at the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in January.

"The result was a result of excellent defending. That was fantastic. Nothing to say about that. Just congratulations," he said.

"I was a defender playing at the top level. I can show a few things to the boys, and that's what we've been doing in the last two weeks -- explaining things to the players, and working on the pitch," he added.

"In the second half, Thailand were very organised. They were trying to attack from the wings, and put quality crosses. But as I said before, my defenders were fantastic. It was just not possible for Thailand to score with my defenders working like this," Stimac added.

"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've finished the game in the first-half itself. But two of my players were a little bit indecisive in front of the goalkeeper," he explained.

"I would like to thank all my players, staffs for helping to fulfil 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're so many young players in the team."

Curacao won the title after beating Vietnam 5-4 on penalties. The two sides were locked 1-1 at the end of the regular time.

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Story first published: Monday, June 10, 2019, 12:59 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 10, 2019
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