Dubai [UAE], October 28 (ANI): Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac said one single mistake cost the team a point against UAE in the qualifiers for the AFC U23 Asian Cup in Dubai.
India was on the receiving end of a 0-1 defeat by hosts UAE in their second match of the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers on Wednesday.
"In the first half, we handled it well, especially when the legs were still fresh. We also had two great chances in the first half. We played against a very good side who were deserving winners. In the second half, they demonstrated their power," AIFF quoted Stimac as saying.
"We were coming down and some players lost freshness in their legs. We needed to make some changes. We gave away an easy penalty. We made one mistake, and that mistake cost us a point, not three as we didn't deserve three points against UAE," the coach added.
After a 2-1 victory against Oman in their opener, India colts went down 0-1 to hosts UAE and currently stand on 3 points from two matches. The team will now lock horns with the Kyrgyz Republic in their last group league game on Saturday.
"We play Kyrgyz Republic in the last game. We need to do our best, find the strength and power, and then get out on the pitch and get the points which may surprise all of Asia if India qualifies," Stimac said.
"It's a very interesting situation in the group wherein the situation is extremely tight. Teams are quite different, but then again very similar in regards to what someone can do on the pitch. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
"It is difficult for our players. We made only one change in the starting XI that played against Oman. We are doing everything possible for them. The five changes helped, but not enough to keep the quality of football which we expect, and is needed against strong opponents against UAE," he signed off. (ANI)