We were nervous after 30 minutes, says India coach Houghton

July 30th, 2008 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

By Abhishek Roy
Hyderabad, July 30 (IANS) India coach Bob Houghton admitted that his boys were nervous after the 30 minutes of the match against Afghanistan in their opening Group A clash of the AFC Challenge Cup football at the Gachibowli Stadium here Wednesday. “We were lucky to get the winner from a half chance. After creating some close chances in the first 30 minutes, my boys became nervous and they lost the rhythm they had in the early half,” Houghon told reporters after India scraped past 1-0.

India had to toil hard against 181st ranked Afghanistan and found the winner only in the injury time when Climax Lawrence scored off a rebound from Sunil Chettri inside the penalty area.

Houghton also indicated that some of the players would be rested in the next match against Tajikistan here Friday.

“There is not much gap between two matches. So I need to rest some of these boys in the next match. There will be some fresh legs against Tajikistan,” he said.

Houghton lauded the Afghanistan team for its performance in holding up India till the last minute.

Afghanistan coach Mohammed Yousuf Kargar was all praise for his boys but said that he was disappointed to lose the match in the last minute.

“We played really well. In a match one team has to win. Today we missed but we didn’t play badly. Luck was not on our side,” he added.

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