The Croatian also revealed that he is happy with India’s performance against Afghanistan on Thursday night.
Following a stalemate in his side’s fourth 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers game against Afghanistan, India head coach Igor Stimac interacted with the media at the post-match press conference on Thursday night.
After a disappointing first half against Afghanistan at the Central Republical Stadium in Dushanbe (Tajikistan), the Blue Tigers managed to force the hosts to share the spoils – courtesy to an equalizer by Seiminlen Doungel in injury-time.
The Croatian began by revealing that he thought the Blue Tigers put up a valiant, enjoyable display against The Lions of Khorasan, as he quipped, “I think that everyone who was here and everybody who was watching on TV could enjoy. The game was very exciting. There was plenty of football. Good action, chances.”
“At the end, neither of us can be happy with a draw, but that’s how it finished,” Igor Stimac added.
Thoughts On The Outcome
Although, India looked miserable against the Afghan attack at times, Igor Stimac also revealed that he feels the Blue Tigers deserved more than a draw from the game. However, he also mentioned that India were unlucky to not convert the chances they created.
“Somehow, I have a feeling that we deserved more out of this game. We created more chances than Afghanistan. We were not lucky enough to score from these clear situations,” the 52-year-old added.
Thoughts On Current Standings
Following the stalemate, the situation for India looks more dire, as they are currently placed in fourth position in Group E of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, following Qatar, Oman and Afghanistan and without a single win until now. India boss Igor Stimac was asked for his opinion on the same when he elaborated, “We all know that Qatar and Oman are favourties in our group. The difference between India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh is very small. One game can decide the situation.”
“Never mind who is having more ball possession, who is creating more chances, you can score from one chance and win the game,” he added.
Thoughts On India’s Performance
The Croatian was insistent on the performance of his side against Afghanistan, as he said, “I am very happy about how my team performed, especially in the second half. We are in the build-up process. We are building a new team for the future. We are becoming a team which is very difficult to beat. We are playing football now.”
“You could see tonight that India is playing very exciting football. We have many new young players coming through. We are opening the door for them,” he further added.
Thoughts On Development
Despite the poor showing in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Igor Stimac mentioned that he expects the Indian football team to be a ‘great team in the future.’
“It’s difficult to expect great results now. But, we are gaining lots of experience and we are going to become a great team in the future. Never before was India coming back from negative situations. Last two games, we came back in the last minute. Now, we are the team which never gives up. We are becoming the team with character, with charisma. The team which is pushing up when the result is negative and that’s what makes me proud as a coach,” he said.
India face Oman in the return fixture of the Round 2 matches, who defeated them in the first game on September 5 in Guwahati. When asked about the match on November 19, Igor Stimac expressed, “There is a very difficult game for us against Oman. Oman is even better now than when we faced them in Guwahati. It is going to be very difficult for us.”
“We need to see how quick we can recover from such a difficult game that we had tonight. But I’m confident. I have enough players. I am not afraid to put out a whole new team against Oman,” he concluded.