Kolkata. Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac wants his aggressive players to learn to get used to playing without charismatic striker Sunil Chhetri and score goals as well. Chhetri, 37, is in the final stages of his career but India still rely on him whose two goals helped the team begin their Asian Cup qualifier campaign with a win over Cambodia on Wednesday.
Stimac said that the time has come when players like Udanta Singh, Manveer Singh, Aashiq Kuruniyan, Sahal Abdul Samad and Liston Kolaso will have to start scoring. Stimac said after the match, ‘Then Sunil scored. Others also tried to score but they could not figure out the way. So I expect Liston, Manveer, Udanta, Aashiq and Sahal to score goals.
He said, ‘All of them have to start scoring goals. We have to start learning. It’s simple – players need to start learning to play without Sunil. Stimac said that Udanta and Aashiq are the two main weapons of the team in the front line. “No matter how he plays at the club, I would like to see him play fast here so that he can damage opponents who are stronger because we don’t have a large pool of players to choose from,” said Stimac.
India captain Chhetri said the team’s aggressive players could have done better in a win over lower-ranked Cambodia. Chhetri’s two goals helped the team register the win and, thanks to this, moved above Hong Kong in terms of goal difference in Group D. He said after the match, ‘It feels good, I am glad that the goal was not scored against us. There are a lot of things in which we could have done better. I don’t want to be strict but there are a lot of things we could have done better.
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 09, 2022, 21:26 IST