The Croatian also felt that the Blue Tigers have a great future ahead.

India picked up their first win of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers with a compelling 2-0 win over Bangladesh to move into third spot in Group E on Monday. The Blue Tigers dominated the game, but it took two late goals from Sunil Chhetri to hand Igor Stimac his first win since 2019. Following the game, India head coach Igor Stimac spoke at the post-match press conference.

“We presented football as it should be. That’s the way we want to play always. Of course, it’s not always possible. But, when we are favorites against lower-ranked teams then that’s something we would like to present – especially to our supporters,” he said.

“I’m very happy, mostly for the Indian football supporters today. On the pitch, my players – they did everything they could to get the win. It wasn’t possible early, but today they got a deserved win. They deserve all the credits. They executed the gameplan perfectly and that’s why we got the win,” he added.

Gameplan against Bangladesh

Igor Stimac also spoke about his gameplan against Bangladesh, which involved not allowing the opposition to keep possession and goading them forward into conceding the second goal.

“The best form of defence against lower-ranked teams is attacking. Keeping them away from the ball and dominating possession. Just to explain, if we didn’t do what we did throughout the game, we wouldn’t have scored the second goal. We invited Bangladesh to come at us and we would lose the touch when passing the ball. That’s why you never do that.”

Thoughts on Sunil Chhetri

The tactician was also extremely grateful for Sunil Chhetri’s performance against Bangladesh. Speaking about the importance of him in the team, the Croatian explained, “As you could say, many people over the last few years have been asking stuff like ‘when Sunil is going to retire,’ what are we going to do then?’ I mean he’s working on the pitch, in every training he’s by far our best player.

“Thank god we have him. I am grateful to God and at his mercy that we are here. We are competing in this tournament,” he explained.

Thoughts on last two games

Igor Stimac spoke about his feeling on India’s performances in the two games.

“I’ve told this before that even if we didn’t get a single point from these three games here, all I ask from my boys is to do well and present their country in discipline and play together as a team. If we are to lose the game, we will lose it as a team.

“It’s because we didn’t have any time whatsoever and have any preparation to do things much better against teams like Qatar or teams which are like us – not weaker than us. But, I’m very proud of my boys. They work their socks off every day and they are really serious. They are learning very quickly and I think we have a great future ahead,” he quipped.

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