Coach Stephen Constantine announced his resignation as India coach for the second time in his career following the Blue Tigers’ group stage exit in the AFC Asian Cup on Monday.
The Englishman had previously coached India between 2002 and 2005 before taking over the reigns for a second time in 2015, succeeding Netherlands’ Wim Koevermans. Under the 56-year-old, India witnessed a surge in the Fifa world rankings, famously breaking into the top-100 last year after a string of good results.
In early 2016, Constantine tasted silverware with the Indian team as his side beat Afghanistan 2-1 to win the SAFF Championship title. Between 2017 and 2018, the Indian team went on a memorable unbeaten streak of 13 games before crashing to a 1-2 loss against Kyrgyzstan.
The Indians also won the Intercontinental cup on home soil and booked their place in the AFC Asian Cup after missing out on the 2015 edition.
Constantine’s India got off to a dream start in the continental showpiece, defeating Thailand 4-1, displaying some thrilling counter-attacking football.
India just needed a point to secure their place in the knockout stages of the tournament coming into the game against Bahrain. However, they were undone by a stoppage-time penalty. A draw between hosts UAE and Thailand confirmed India’s elimination from the Asian Cup.