India coach hails his boys’ spirited show against UAE

July 28th, 2011 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) India football coach Armando Colaco Thursday hailed his boys who came from two goals down to hold a superior United Arab Emirates 2-2 in the home leg of the Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup.

India, however, couldn’t move to the second round as they lost 2-5 on aggregate, but Colaco said his boys deserve lavish praise for playing in difficult conditions at the Ambedkar Stadium.

Incessant rain made it difficult for both the teams to keep possession of the ball and on a slushy outfield, players found it difficult to find a firm footing.

“Today we played a better game. Conditions were difficult but it is not easy for a team to come from 0-2 to draw the match 2-2. Heavy rains made it difficult to pass the ball around but we played a better passing game,” said Colaco.

The India coach said neutralizing the three-goal deficit suffered from their away loss in Abu Dhabi Saturday was tough and he had asked his boys to “express” themselves at their lucky international venue.

“We had nothing to lose today and I had asked my boys to express themselves. I thank god for their performance,” said the 58-year-old Goan.

Asked about his future with All India Football Federation (AIFF), Colaco said: “I am happy with AIFF and they have provided me with all the facilities. It is up to them to take a call on my future.”

Colaco, who is also the Dempo coach, said the AIFF should organise more international exposure trips for the Indian players.

“The current bunch of boys is extremely talented and if they get more exposure, they would go a long way,” he said.

UAE’s Slovenian coach Srecko Katanec, however, was upset with the poor ground conditions.

“Conditions were completely unplayable. But our boys fought hard. If I had my way, I would have stopped the match,” he said.

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