The tactician saw his team finally get the better of the Gorkhalis in the second friendly encounter.

The Indian national football team and head coach Igor Stimac secured a 2-1 win in the second of the two international friendlies against Nepal. The match was played at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu. The previous game ended in a 1-1 draw but this time, the Blue Tigers emerged victorious. 

Farukh Choudhary gave Igor Stimac’s men the lead in the second half with a calm finish. The advantage increased to two goals after Sunil Chhetri scored from a counter-attack. Nepal did halve the deficit through a wondrous long-range strike from Tej Tamang, but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat. 

Indian tactician Istimac analyzed the game and spoke to the media during the post-match interaction:

Analyzing the game

Igor Stimac was appreciative of both teams putting in a good effort in a friendly game. While lauding both sets of players he said, “The second game was much better from both sides. Obviously, the reason for that is we had a better pitch, not good enough, but still better than the last time we played. I felt this was far more than a friendly game and we need to congratulate the players from both teams. Their attitude, their willingness to go and to play the game.

“Especially, I need to appreciate my players because they were much more patient this time…to open up Nepalese defence. As you know, when that happens, things will be much easier.” he further went on to add.

Word on opponents’ strategy 

The Croatian further talked about the opposition team saying, “Nepalese team, after losing the ball, got 10 players behind the ball in the first half. There were no areas and spaces where we could hurt them, they were coming on the wide areas. We did not have the capability today to breakthrough. Only two-three good crosses we made in the first-half, although there were mistakes we made in the first-half which are not normal on a normal pitch.”

Importance of the first goal & need to improve

The game opened up after Farukh Choudhary scored the opener. There were more spaces for both teams and Igor Stimac touched upon this during his interaction. He said, “After we scored that first goal, we started rising up with confidence…overall India was the better team in these two games and deservedly going home with a victory.

“Nepali team played well, they improved in the box, they improved a lot. I can see how much it means to the team when it has two months of preparation, spending time together and all that. India still has a lot to prove and many points to improve on.” 

The yellow card incident

During the game, the tactician received a yellow card from the referee for his behaviour on the touchline. When asked why he was losing his temper, Stimac denied the notion and rather justified his right to protest to the official. He said, “It is better that I get a yellow card than a player.

“This is a friendly game, nobody needs the referee’s help. This is a friendly game where we need to see how good we are, we don’t need a referee to push anyone, we didn’t come here for that. We came here to play Nepal in a fair game,” said the Indian gaffer.

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