India had begun their campaign with a convincing 4-1 victory over Thailand. But thereafter, the Blue Tigers lost back-to-back matches against UAE and Bahrain and bowed out in the first round
New Delhi: Indian national team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu feels the impact of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 will be “huge for Indian football”.
“21 out of the 23 players in the team were playing at such a stage for the first time. Now, we want to take it from here. It is important for us to deliver at the big stages and we shall do so,” Gurpreet said.
“The impact of the competition will be huge for Indian football,” he added.
India had begun their campaign with a convincing 4-1 victory over Thailand. But thereafter, the Blue Tigers lost back-to-back matches against UAE and Bahrain and bowed out in the first round.
“This team can go places if we remain united, and the game plan is in the right place. We are out of the tournament but we can certainly do more than we did,” he stated.
“We were not at our best against Bahrain,” stated Gurpreet. “I had to make sure that we were in the game till the very last minute. It was difficult physically and mentally as they were coming at us all guns blazing. We fought till the end but fell short.”
Gurpreet, who was also a part of the 2011 Asian Cup squad maintained the “team matched their opponents in all the three matches.”
“We fought and there weren't any one-sided games. We matched our opponents every minute and were even better than them on many occasions. We got points on the board, and showed that we could match our opponents,” he opined.
In 2011, India had also lost to Bahrain by a 2-5 margin in the first round.
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Last Updated Mar 4, 2019, 11:10 AM IST