Constantine delighted with India win, praises Macau defence
India marched a step closer towards qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup by notching up their third victory in as many games and are now comfortably atop Group A. Head coach Stephen Constantine spoke to the media following the important win over Macau at the Macau Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.
Constantine was delighted with the overall result, but was also gracious enough to praise the effort of their opponents on the day.
“Firstly, I would like to congratulate my team, the players and all the staff. It was a very difficult game. I would also like to congratulate Macau for the effort. Their coach was a former student of mine and I thought they caused us problems while defending, as it was very difficult for us to break them down,” he said.
Speaking about his own team’s performance, the coach thought that the Blue Tigers did well to find a way to pick the victory.
“I thought they gave everything they had for the full ninety minutes,” he explained. “It’s very difficult to break down an eight or nine-man defense and that gave us problems. But we found a solution for this.”
Admitting that he had refused to underestimate Macau prior to the encounter, he went on to add: “I have respect for other teams. When I first arrived, I was asked ‘how many goals will you score?’ but I think it’s disrespectful to say we would have scored four. We are happy with a 2-0 (result) and we got the three points which is all we wanted.”
Super sub Balwant Singh scored a brace, and Constantine was quick to appreciate the striker’s work on the field.
“I think he (Balwant) did very well. I would like to give (assistant coach Shanmugham) Venkatesh credit for Balwant’s performance and the boy did exactly what we needed. He could have scored four but I’ll take two, and I am very pleased with him,” he concluded.