The Kyrgyzstan boss rued the fact that his team failed to take their chances after defeat to the Blue Tigers…

India took a huge steps towards securing qualification for the AFC Asia Cup when they defeated the dangerous Kyrgyzstan today, with Sunil Chettri’s stunning strike separating the sides on the night. Kyrgyzstan were the dominant side in the first half despite losing a key player in Zemlianukhin Anton and had a lot of chances saved by India’s marvel goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Read match report and watch highlights including Chhetri’s stunning winner

It turned out to be an unlucky evening for Aleksandr Krestinin and his men who had to taste bitter defeat despite playing some really good football. The Kyrgyzstan coach was disappointed by the result after the match but did not blame it on the players, as he lamented some missed chances and the early substitution of prolific midfielder Zemlianukhin which definitely affected their strategy.  

Krestinin spoke to the media after the game and was asked about the impact  of the early substitution and said: “Yeah it (the substitution) affected our gameplay as an important player for us had to be replaced and we had to change our strategy afterwards.”

He was asked to give an update on Zemlianukhin who was taken to the hospital after the nasty clash with Sandhu early in the game, to which the Kyrgyzstan coach replied, “He’s come out of the hospital and is now moving around, as the injury is not as bad as we thought it to be”

Read India manager Spephen Cinstantine and captain Sunil Chhetri’s thoughts here

Krestinin’s side sunk due to the superb effort from India’s captain Sunil Chhetri and he was asked about how he felt about it and whether his side could’ve done anything to stop that, to which the coach replied, “Well I thought that our defense should have marked him closely, but his shot was really good and there wasn’t much we could have done about it.”

Kyrgyzstan’s defense was exposed by the Indian attack several times and he was asked about this, to which he replied, “Yeah in the first half we were dominating as India had a lot of counter-attacks and it became difficult for us to contain those attacks after a point of time.”

It has to be remembered that Kyrgyzstan were the highest ranked team in the group when the qualifying draw was made. The White Falcons won their first enconter in the group against Macau and Krestinin had declared in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday that his team were looking to make it two wins out of two. They will next face Myanmar when they will be keen to bounce back with a win.