Kyrgyzstan will start favourites, says Constantine


The Indian team might be on a seven-game unbeaten streak in all competitions and is riding high on confidence, but their head coach Stephen Constantine still believes its their opponents Kyrgyzstan who will go into the AFC Asian Cup qualifier tie on Tuesday as the favourites.

“They have players playing in Europe and that obviously helps. But we are not concerned about that. We are looking at Kyrgyzstan as a team and we will try to do things that’s in our control to win the game. We are at home and we want to win this.”

It’s not always that India go into a game of this magnitude as the higher-ranked side. Ranked 100th on the FIFA charts, Constantine’s men are 32 places above Kyrgyzstan, but the Englishman refused to read much into it.

“I wouldn’t say it’s (the ranking) not worth anything. The rankings are there for a particular reason. Many variables determine the rankings, but that won’t decide the outcome of the game. It will be decided by who wants it more and how well we play,” he said.

Though the team has been playing well in the recent past, against Nepal last week, it was their goal scoring abilities that was exposed by their rivals. But the coach chose to look beyond that. “I will be more concerned if we weren’t creating enough, but that is not the case,” he said.

“It’s good that we are making those. The other day we scored 3-4 goals, against Nepal we scored two. The problem is not creating, and I think we are doing well in that department.”

Meanwhile the Kyrgyzstan head coach, Aleksandr Krestinin said it will be the Indian defence that could prove to be a problem for his side when the two face-off at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.

“They are a really good side and the recent results speak for themselves. 

“They are a very strong side and a team that depends on their defence to see out matches. It will be difficult but we are up for the challenge. We will be going for the win,” said the Russian.

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