Stability, discipline fetched us tri-nation triumph, says Igor Stimac
Indian Head Coach Igor Stimac

New Delhi: Stability and discipline helped the Indian football team to triumph in the tri-nation tournament in Imphal, head coach Igor Stimac said on Wednesday.

India beat Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic to emerge winner.

“The boys played with a brilliant attitude and the overall environment was also very positive. It’s the result that creates this positivity for us,” he said.

“This was our fifth consecutive win at home, and that’s very important for us to build confidence,” he said.

“We were very stable and disciplined and did not allow Myanmar or Kyrgyz Republic any greater opportunities apart from a couple of minutes in the second half, where we were a bit soft. We could have done better in those areas, but the boys are always improving.”

Stimac also thanked Manipur for being the gracious hosts of the national team.

“We are grateful to the organisers in Manipur, the Government, the Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, the organisers, and all the fans for providing the atmosphere,” he said.

Two all-round performances by the Blue Tigers rounded off a successful campaign for Sunil Chhetri and his men at the Khuman Lampak Stadium.

Not only did India win both their matches against a never-say-die Myanmar (1-0) and a higher-ranked Kyrgyz Republic (2-0), but they also kept two clean sheets.

India captain Chhetri said, “It felt good to play these two matches, and it was important for us to get the two wins under our belt. It’s the first time I played in Manipur, so that was an extremely special occasion.

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“We also kept two clean sheets, which was very important for our defence,” said Chhetri, who struck his 85th goal in international football from a well taken spot-kick against the Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday.

As many as four new players Mehtab Singh, Naorem Mahesh, Ritwik Kumar Das, and Rohit Kumar got their debuts in the two matches.

Also Read | Hosting int’l tournament was long-awaited dream of Manipur: CM

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