Monday, 18 March, 2019


Stephen Constantine aiming to lead India to historic qualification in Asian Cup

Stephen Constantine aiming to lead India to historic qualification in Asian Cup Stephen Constantine aiming to lead India to historic qualification in Asian Cup
Bennie Garza | 11 January, 2019, 19:40

Indian football team players vie for the ball with UAE players.

UAE were held by Bahrain in their opening match and, in front of their home crowd, they will be eager to make amends.

The video shows the man ordering a group of Asian fans he locked in a cage to pledge their support to the country's national football team against India in Thursday's group match. You will be able to see them while we implement it on the pitch. They are bitterly disappointed. We need to aim for a win and get something from that game.

"Initially, I think, nobody expected us to be here", Constantine told ITV London.

India made another bright start and terrorised UAE with their intense pressing.

After 20 minutes, if we compare the average position of the players of the two sides, UAE only had two players in the Indian half compared to India's seven in the other half.

"This player, a Bahrain national, is now being detained in prison in Thailand awaiting the outcome of extradition proceedings to Bahrain, where he was previously convicted of a criminal offence, the validity of which he strongly contests", continued the statement. The young striker's strike was brilliantly tipped over by the UAE goalkeeper. Udanta Singh passed the ball to Anirudh Thapa on the right flank and he sent in a curling cross, only for Chhetri to hit the ball straight at the keeper.

UAE had their hands full in dealing with India's growing offensive presence and could barely conjure attacks of their own.

The UAE national team were 2-0 winners at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday with goals from Khalfan Mubarak and Ali Mabkout.

But India can not sit on its laurels for long as they are up for a much tougher opponent in the form of UAE on Thursday. However, India began from where they had left and pinned UAE on the back foot in the second. Jeje's volley went inches off the post.

As the half wore on, India lost their intensity and belief. "We had four clear chances to score but UAE scored with the half chance they had", he maintained. If we could have taken our chances it could have been different.

Skipper Chhetri added: "It was a tight game".

"We have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next game. This has obviously improved since we have been playing together for some time", he said.

UAE fans cheer on their team ahead of kick-off.

"Our preparation has changed everything we do; we have analysis, we do wellness monitoring".

UAE managher Alberto Zaccheroni gives instructions to Ali Salmin.

Earlier in the day, Thailand beat Bahrain and the results have thrown the group wide open.

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