Upbeat India face UAE test in AFC Asian Cup

Paola Ditto
Gennaio 11, 2019

"They are a very good side but they are just another team standing in our way", said Constantine.

That's not to say the coach won't acknowledge the significance of the win over Thailand: "We've finally got respect for Indian football, we've woken the sleeping giant". He also became the second highest active goal-scorer in worldwide football taking his tally to 67, which is two more than Lionel Messi.

In a team sport like football, a squad heavily dependent on Chhetri would not have experienced a 13-match unbeaten run on way to qualifying for the tournament.

It is better still for the team that for all his achievements over the years, Chhetri remains grounded.

India pushed for the equaliser in the second half, Udanta Singh slamming a shot against the bar 10 minutes after the restart.

"But my focus is on the game against India and to deliver the best performance and satisfy the UAE fans".

India will be more cautious in their approach against UAE compared to their previous games against Thailand. It was the late goal by substitute Ahmed Khalil that saved them the blushes.

UAE will look to dominate the midfield where Anirudh Thapa and Pronay Halder will come up against a tightly-knit unit. "Our back four has been playing together for some time now". "He is a phenomenal goal scorer at this level".

India still have work to despite their strong start at the Asian Cup, coach Stephen Constantine told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview.

India coach Constantine is well aware of the opposition threat in store. We have won a game. That seems a bit rash to me, you have to give time to Alberto Zaccheroni.

Fares Juma, defender of the UAE said "All the focus is now on the game against the Indian team on Thursday, stressing that everyone is fully aware of the importance of the confrontation and difficulty, and the need to win to enhance the fortunes of the whites to continue the championship".

Stephen Constantine and his men will be full of confidence after their historic win against Thailand but won't be carried away by the result ahead of their clash against the hosts. There are still two matches to be played in the group stage and rough calculations suggest they need at least another point to go through to the pre-quarterfinals of the Asian Cup 2019.

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