Carlos Queiroz, the famous coach of Iran who was assistant coach of legendary Sir Alex Ferguson in Manchester United, was surprised with India’s first-half fight against Iran in the World Cup qualifier match in Bangalore on Tuesday. Carlos, currently managing Iran’s national team for the last couple of years, said after the match, “India’s ranking in the World should not at all be 155. Rather the country’s football ranking should be much above Turkmenistan and Guam as the Indian players fought in the first session especially.”
India conceded all two of the three goals after the half-time very quickly, within a couple of minutes. Stephen Constantine, after the match ended, did not look much frustrated. Rather he had a lot of praise for his defenders’ performance in the match. The chief national coach of Indian national team stated, “All the four defenders had fought gallantly throughout the match. Even, after conceding the goals they fought bravely.” Arnab Mondal, Sandesh Jhingham, Pritam Kotal and Narayan Das were the four defenders to have participated in the match against Iran. And among them, Arnab and Sandesh earned the appreciation from their Britsh coach. Constantine commented, “Both of them were outstanding.”
But the chief national coach also lamented for not getting the opportunity to play preparatory matches against strong teams. Constantine said lamenting, “If you want to compete against teams like Iran then you have to take part in some preparatory matches against the teams of almost same strength. And you will have to play several matches before your assigned match. Otherwise, it would be tough for any side to compete against any tough teams.”
Queiroz also admitted Stephen’s opinion in the post-match media conference but at the same time, the former coach of Real Madrid added, “Indian footballers did not only defend. Rather they offered some sharp counter attacks also in the first session. Especially, Sunil Chettri held on to the ball nicely in the middle of the park and distributed a few excellent defense-splitting passes also. “
Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore saw another interesting thing on Tuesday. At least three to four thousand supporters of Iran came to watch the match of World Cup qualifier. India, after losing the tie, is yet to gain a point from their group in the World Cup qualifiers.