Amrinder: We need to make fewer mistakes against the UAE

After leading Mumbai City FC to the prestigious Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) trophy as well as the League Winners Shield this season, Amrinder Singh continued his great run in goal in India colours too as he helped the national team pull off a 1-1 draw against Oman in a friendly in Dubai on Thursday.

The Blue Tigers did well to come back from a goal down and Amrinder was called into action on many occasions and even saved a penalty before unfortunately conceding an own goal that put Oman in the lead. However, Manvir Singh headed in a Bipin Singh cross in the second half to restore parity between the teams. Oman thereafter had a couple of very good scoring opportunities but Amrinder foiled their attempts with great skill.

India will now play the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday in another friendly and ahead of the game, Amrinder stressed what the team needs to do against another tough rival. “We need to make fewer mistakes. That increases our chances of winning, because at international level we cannot afford mistakes. I believe that the UAE and India are on the same level. Whichever team is more mentally strong, focused and makes fewer mistakes has a better chance of winning,” he told AIFF TV in an interview.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper added: “Most of the Arab teams are physical. We will have to be mentally strong. If you look at both UAE and Oman, both these teams are very physical. We did well to come back in the last match. We stuck to our plans, and in the end we scored. I think UAE are a physical side. In international football, it is better if you stick to your plans.”

Amrinder had a great 2020-21 Hero ISL campaign as he earned 10 clean sheets during the season, narrowly missing out on the Golden Glove award as ATK Mohun Bagan’s Arindam Bhattacharja claimed the award on account of having higher minutes per goal conceded (108.95). “This was one of my best seasons. I was leading the team. I learnt a lot of things like how to guide the team and ensure there are no mistakes. It was a great experience because when you have many senior members in the team, players who have played with the head coach [before]. There were players who helped me in guiding the team,” Amrinder said. 

Amrinder is one of the most experienced players in the history of the Hero ISL with 95 games under his belt. Talking about how the goalkeepers have evolved in the league over the years, he said: “When the Hero ISL started, most of the teams had foreign goalkeepers. But the Indian goalkeepers have done well to show they can be trusted. The goalkeepers have improved a lot over the last 4-5 years. They have taken up more responsibilities. There are many young goalkeepers as well. I think that in India [in Hero ISL], all the teams have Indian goalkeepers, and you can see how well they performed [this season].”


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