Male [Maldives], October 11 (ANI): Indian football team central defender Rahul Bheke feels the side is "getting better" with each match in the ongoing SAFF Championship 2021.
A late strike by Chhetri handed India a 1-0 win over Nepal in the SAFF Championship Group Stage. With this win, India is now in the third spot on the Group table with five points, just one behind Maldives and Nepal, both of whom have acquired six points each.
"We have been getting better. Everyone is aware of the job at hand. There's no reason why we can't do it. But at the same time we understand that it needs to be done on the field," AIFF quoted Bheke as saying.
There are just two days in between for the next do-or-die match against hosts Maldives and head coach Stimac is happy to know that India can still reach the finals.
"I am very happy and grateful about the manner the boys responded against Nepal. I am very happy with the points which have kept us alive, and the possibility of reaching the final," said Stimac.
The Blue Tigers have received a jolt as forward Farukh Chowdhury has been ruled out of the Championship after suffering an injury in the last match against Nepal.
But despite the victory, Stimac stressed a very vital point -- the percentage of chances being converted. "We need to improve our scoring from the chances which we are creating. It is simple, and if we do that games become very easy. Otherwise you need to suffer till the end, or even beyond the end. But we need to be patient," he said.
'Patience,' that's always been a keyword in the talismanic Sunil Chhetri's life. Courtesy of his match-winner in the last game, he now stands on 77 goals at the International arena, the same number of goals as King Pele.
"We are all very happy for him. The team is working very hard for him to score goals," said Stimac.
The group table points out that India is on 5 points from 3 matches and face Maldives (on 6 from the same number of games).
Even a draw for Maldives will earn them a ticket to the final, the Blue Tigers need to win to ensure their spot in the summit clash. (ANI)