Adil Khan: Silly mistakes cost us the match

A disastrous second-half against Tajikistan in the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2019 opener on Sunday, subjected the Blue Tigers to a disappointing 2-4 loss at the EKA Arena on Sunday. Sunil Chhetri scored a brace in the first-half but a host of individual errors in the second-half helped the visitors back into the match as they ran out as convincing winners.

Birthday boy Adil Khan, who partnered debutant Narender Gahlot at centre-back for India on the night, shared his thoughts with Here's what he had to say.

From being two goals up to conceding four goals in the second-half. What went wrong?

For me, a two-goal lead in the first half is always dangerous because the team gets relaxed. I think we were too relaxed in the midfield and even in the defence, we were too relaxed in the second half. We made silly mistakes, conceded silly goals. We could have done much better to avoid those goals.

What are your thoughts on the new faces coming into the Indian side?

All the players are working hard. It is like a challenge for the coach (Igor Stimac) to choose the team. Those who do well in the training camp, they get the opportunity to come and play. So, a debut for the national team is very important to set the team for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. I think the coach is doing a good job giving the youngsters a chance to grow and to be better in the coming days.

How does it feel to make a return to the national team after such a long time?

I'm very lucky, I will say. It is not that easy to get a chance like this at the age of 30-31. However, I think I performed well for FC Pune City for the last 2 seasons. So, I think I deserved a chance. This was my opportunity and I took it. I need to grab it with both hands.

How is the team going to prepare for the match against DPR Korea?

Now, we have to work on our mistakes. You know we were too relaxed in the second half. We shouldn't have been. It's always a learning process in these matches that we are playing now. We have to get better and we will learn from our mistakes.

What do you think of the fans who came out in large numbers?

They are always there behind the team. I have seen them in the last two-three years. I really wanted to be in the (Indian) team because of this kind of support. They are like our 12th man so, when they have our back, we always do our best.

Read the full match report here.

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