Indian football team coach Igor Stimac felt his team deserved more from the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier game against Afghanistan which ended in a draw in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Substitute Seiminlen Doungel scored from a Brandon Fernandes corner in stoppage time to save the blushes for India who remained winless in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
However, Stimac, who oversaw an improvement from his team in the second half after a listless first half, was left to rue the missed chances.
“I think that everyone who was here and everybody who was watching on TV could enjoy,” Stimac said after the game.
“The game was very exciting. Good action, chances. In the end, neither of us can be happy with a draw, but that’s how it finished. Somehow, I have a feeling that we deserved more out of this game. We created more chances than Afghanistan. We were not lucky enough to score from these clear situations,” he added.
The Croatian admitted that it wasn’t the ideal result for his team but was pleased with their ability to come back from a goal down for the second game running.
“We have many new young players coming through and it is difficult to get good results at the moment but we are gaining experience now and we are going to become a great team in future,” the 52-year-old said.
“Before, India would never come back from a negative result. In the last two games, we came back from behind in the last minutes. We have become a team that never gives up. We have great character and that is what makes me proud as a coach.”
India have just one win in nine games since Stimac took over as the head coach. But he has called for patience as built a team with plenty of young players.
“I am very happy about how my team performed today [Thursday], especially in the second half,” he said. “We are in the build up process. We are building a new team for the future.
“We are becoming a team which is very difficult to beat and we are playing football now. You could see that India is playing very exciting football. We have many new young players coming through. We are opening the door for them.” Stimac said.
India now face a tough test away to Oman who are the only team to beat the Blue Tigers in the World Cup qualifiers so far.
“There is a very difficult game for us against Oman,” Stimac said. “Oman is even better now than when we faced them in Guwahati.
“It is going to be very difficult for us. We need to see how quickly we can recover from such a difficult game that we had tonight. But I’m confident. I have enough players. I am not afraid to put out a whole new team against Oman.”