Ashique Kuruniyan was adjudged as the Most Valuable Player of the Match, as the Blue Tigers won their tournament opener against their southern neighbours.

With Sri Lanka conquered, the new look India now look forward to their next challenge – the fixture against Maldives. The 2-0 result against Sri Lanka in their SAFF Cup opener did please National Coach Stephen Constantine but he “isn’t happy with the performance.”

“We need to rectify the mistakes before the next match. We started off with a good win but I’m not happy with the performance. We could have scored quite a few goals more,” he maintained.

“We have to learn how to play more smartly. We can do much better than this. Given the fact that the players are young, you can’t expect the consistency every time. Anyway, a win is always the most important aspect of the game and we move on from here,” he added.


Ashique Kuruniyan, who was adjudged as the Most Valuable Player of the Match against Sri Lanka nodded to what his Coach uttered. “We won, but we missed many chances. We have to be quick enough on the field to utilise those opportunities,” Kuruniyan pronounced. “I am extremely happy to have scored my first International goal. I need to deliver more for the National Team.”

Meanwhile, Constantine felt, the pipeline needs to be maintained. “We have already qualified to the AFC Asian Cup and from now, we need to have more players in the pipeline so that we can put pressure on senior players to push themselves more,” he stated.

“We have just preferred to stick to our ideas to provide these young boys with an opportunity to get some more international game time.” India will take on Maldives in the final group-stage match on September 9, 2018.