Igor Stimac: Win is past, think of game today
“We are at point zero.” That’s what Igor Stimac, India’s national football team coach, said on Friday, the eve of the AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Afghanistan. India began their campaign with a 2-0 win over Cambodia but need to win at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday too in their quest to top Group D.
“Three points against Cambodia means nothing if we don’t win against Afghanistan. We are at point zero. So what we need to do is win against Afghanistan,” Stimac said.
India rode captain Sunil Chhetri’s brace on Wednesday and it will be the 37-year-old once again who will have to bear the burden of scoring. Stimac brushed aside queries on whether others not stepping up is a worry for him. “Why look for someone when Sunil is scoring?” he said.
Afghanistan lost to Hong Kong in the first match but Stimac is not taking things for granted. “There was a lot of quality movement by the Afghans. We need to stay focused.”
CoA sends official
Upset by the laxity on part of the organisers, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) has decided to send an official to ensure everything passes off smoothly during the remaining days of the Qualifiers.
The AIFF had to apologise to the Cambodian football federation for hotel-related issues as well as a technical glitch which delayed playing of their national anthem. The Cambodian embassy in New Delhi has voiced its displeasure regarding the national anthem faux pas, it has been learnt.