The young tactician also asserted that his side will do everything to beat the home team.

Coming off a dissipating 2-1 loss against in the opening game of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers. Afghanistan will be looking to get back to winning ways as they take on India on Saturday at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium. India beat Cambodia last time around and head into the game as clear favourites. Ahead of their opening match against India, Afghanistan’s manager Anoush Dastgir spoke to the media and shared his thoughts.

Very bad start

Dastgir talked about the 2-1 defeat against Hong Kong and exactly what went wrong. “To be honest, we didn’t start well in the first thirty minutes. As you see, they scored two goals from 25-30 meters, I am not going to talk about the personal mistakes, but in three minutes we kill ourselves. If you see before the goals, 25 minutes it was 50/50 for both sides and 2-0 it is very hard to come back and still we tried till the last minute. But there were some mistakes that shouldn’t be done in that game.”

Positives from the defeat

The Afghanistan manager Anoush Dastgir still seemed very positive and was well past the mistakes of the previous game. “First of all mistakes can happen, it’s just one game, it’s a tournament so you have to learn from it. You cannot think two or three days about it.”

We spoke about it as a group and we said okay we are gonna do everything to win the next game. We are gonna go there, give 100% and hope for a good result.” he added.

Difficulty in adapting to the conditions

The manager also opened up about the struggles of the players in adapting to the Asian weather, “India are a good team and they are playing at home, they have home advantage. Especially the weather, it is one of the biggest challenges in Asia. If you are playing in Europe, Italy vs Holland, they fly for one and half hours and almost the same weather. But here, it is very hard to adapt.” 

“So against India, we are looking for players that can adapt very well because now we can see the game very well against Hong Kong. THree of four players they had very difficulty with the weather.” he added.

Strategy and gameplan against India

When asked about the strategy and game plan his team will deploy against India, Anoush Dastgir said: “Same strategy? When you are working with a style of play and your plan you can not change your gameplay every two days so no. The style will be the same. But the game plan should be of course different because Hong Kong is not India and India is not Hong Kong.”

Some changes in the starting lineup?

The manager confirmed that there will be some changes in the starting XI, “There will be some changes of course. The first game is always very hard. Especially when you don’t know the opposition team.  We have never played Hong Kong. They didn’t play with the same players they plate with against Malaysia. India is the only team we know very very well and India knows us very very well too. I am looking forward to the clash tomorrow.”

For more football updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and join our community on Telegram.