New Delhi [India], November 11 (ANI): Despite India qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, national football team defender Sandesh Jhingan believes it is just a first step towards success for his team and that the job is not done yet.
Last week, India had secured a direct qualification to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup for the first time since 1984 after crushing Macau 4-1 in their third qualifier match of Group A at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore.
India are placed in Group A, alongside Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Macau, and by winning the first four games in their group, India picked up an unassailable lead to qualify for the next year's event in the UAE.
However, Jhingan insisted that it is just the beginning and that his side have to see a lot more success.
"The job is not done yet. This is the first step which we have achieved because we will travel to UAE not just to participate. Rather, we need to make it to the next round for which, I reiterate, we need to work harder," Jhingan said.
When asked about the importance of Asian Cup qualification to him, the defender said that it was a big achievement for the country as it would contribute towards the growth of the Indian football.
"Our priority from now on is to improve and try to dominate in Asia as the Asian Cup provides us with the chance to play the bigger teams. To improve we need to learn the dominance and there is still a lot of work to be done for that," he added.
Meanwhile, Jhigan also revealed that he cried as a 17-year old when the last time India played in Doha and lost to Bahrain in the Asian Cup in 2011.
"The last time India played in Doha (in 2011), I was a 17-year old boy and remember crying after our loss to Bahrain -- a match which I felt we could have won. It was an emotional moment for a boy who was in love with the National Team and the other day in Bengaluru, it was a special moment when we qualified," Jhigan said.
India will now lock horns with Myanmar in their next Group A match of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier, which is slated to be held on November 14. (ANI)