Myanmar coach Gerd Zaise praised Indian National Team skipper Sunil Chhetri highly during the pre-match press conference held at the Pandit JLN Stadium today.
Referring to Chhetri’s goal making the difference between the two Teams in the first leg, the German Coach described Chhetri as the “most dangerous player.”
“The Indian captain is a cool customer and he’s the most dangerous player. We must take care of the counter attacks and the defense line must be cautious when it involves him,” Zaise stated.
The veteran Coach even went to the extent saying: “I am ready to give him a Myanmar Passport,” a comment which the Coach even made to Chhetri when the two met post the press conference.
“India is really good at defending and we have to absolutely on our toes to penetrate them. I would like to congratulate them on their success but tomorrow we have to take our chances to go back with a positive result,” Zaise stated. “We have come to Goa to play good football and take some points.”
“Our first target is not to lose. We were the better side in the first leg but eventually ended up on the losing side.”
He further added: “We need to score. Sometimes, you will get only one chance in the entire match and you need to utilize that.”
Captain Yan Aung Kyaw, nevertheless, dismissed talks of any “extra pressure on his side. After 15 years we stand with a realistic chance to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup. We come out every day to get a win. Tomorrow is no different and we need nothing less than a win. There’s no other alternative.”
Indian National Coach Stephen Constantine maintained “it’s important to continue the momentum,” as India face Myanmar in their last home match of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier UAE 2019 at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao tomorrow (November 14, 2017).
“This match is the first step to Asian Cup’s preparation which is precisely 14 months away,” he said at the official pre-match press conference at the Pandit JLN Stadium.
“The match allows us the opportunity to test the depth of our squad. Obviously, we are looking forward to,” he maintained.
Constantine showed huge respect for the visitors and said that the match can be “anyone’s game.”
“Myanmar is a very disciplined side. The coach is there for 8 long years and he follows a similar system. We had a torrid time in Myanmar.”
Skipper Chhetri, who made the difference in the added time in the first leg having ended a 64- year prolonged wait to register a win in Myanmar, reiterated the fact as well.
“I admit that they had a lot of ball possession. They kept us under tremendous pressure throughout. But at the end of the day, we took all three points. I will any day take three points at the end, no matter who has more ball possession,” the “talismanic” captain stated.
Referring to the Myanmar coach’s comments that he’s ready to provide Chhetri with a Myanmar passport, Chhetri quipped: “Let’s not take away the credit from our defenders. As I remember we defended for most of the time and they carried out the job with utmost precision. If he hands me a Myanmar passport, it is to be given to the defenders, Jeje, Udanta too.”
Coach Stephen Constantine also lavished huge praise for the players’ “phenomenal work rate” which churned out a win in Myanmar. “The work rate was phenomenal. We have continued our hard work for last 2 years and these are the results. Everyone knows that we are a hard-working unit and we will continue to do so.”
Referring Sunil Chhetri’s pivotal goal in the added time, coach recollected: “It was a 5-man move and Sunil was clinical to finish off the job. In Europe, the goals against Myanmar and the Kyrgyz Republic could have been talking points. On and off the pitch, we are a great team.”
The product of the AIFF Youth Development program Germanpreet Singh thanked the senior players for being a “great support to improve him as a player. We always push ourselves to deliver on the pitch. The senior players have been a great support to every one of us to improve as a player,” the sturdy Germanpreet commented.
The match is scheduled for a kick-off at 8 PM IST tomorrow evening.