Intercontinental Cup: Individual errors hurt India against NZ, says Coach

Jun 09, 2018, 08:41 IST | Noel D'Souza

"I wasn't very nervous, I'm a professional. We came prepared and did our research. We executed our game plan. The conditions are difficult from Wellington, but we came here early enough to prepare and adapt to the conditions," he said.

Intercontinental Cup: Individual errors hurt India against NZ, says Coach
India defender Pritam Kotal vies for the ball with a New Zealand player on Thursday

Lack of guile, movement and link up play were the major drawbacks from India's 1-2 loss against a second string New Zealand in the Intercontinental Cup at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday, but head coach Stephen Constantine, who opted to rotate his squad with as many as seven changes, backed his decision, knowing that the hosts had already made it to the final with back-to-back wins over Chinese Taipei (5-0) and Kenya (3-0).

"The seven changes were going to happen because we are using this tournament to prepare for Asian Cup. We didn't get the result we wanted, but it was important that the youngsters got their chances," Constantine said at the post-match conference. The most noticeable change that hurt the Blue Tigers was in the defence — the pair of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika — making way for Salam Ranjan Singh and Subhashish Bose, who struggled throughout the match.

Stephen Constantine
Stephen Constantine

"When you win two games, you may get carried away. New Zealand were a young and disciplined side. We made mistakes, but didn't start as we do. Yes, individual errors cost us today. You're not going to have 11 Sandeshs or Sunil Chhetris. "Some players didn't take the opportunity to put themselves in the spotlight," the Englishman added.
Meanwhile, the All Whites star midfielder Sarpreet Singh, who's two vital assists proved costly for the home side, admitted playing in front of vociferous Indian fans didn't get the better of him.

"I wasn't very nervous, I'm a professional. We came prepared and did our research. We executed our game plan. The conditions are difficult from Wellington, but we came here early enough to prepare and adapt to the conditions," he said.

It's India v Kenya in final
India will face Kenya in the summit clash of Intercontinental Cup after the African side hammered Chinese Taipei 4-0 in the last league match yesterday in Andheri. After yesterday result, Kenya, India and New Zealand ended on six points each from two wins and the Kiwis missed out on the basis of goal-difference.

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