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Boys not used to speed at which teams like UAE play: Football coach Stimac

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Dubai, Oct 30 (IANS) Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac has conceded that the pace at which the UAE played against his side in the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers on October 27 was tough for his boys to handle, but added that the team would give its best against the Kyrgyz Republic in a late evening game on Saturday.

After beginning their campaign on a positive note by defeating Oman, India Under-23 lost to the UAE and are currently on three points from two matches. A win against Kyrgyz Republic will brighten their chances of qualifying for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup scheduled to be held in Uzbekistan in 2022.

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“We are treating the match against Kyrgyz Republic as any other game,” said Stimac prior to India U-23’s crucial encounter AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers.

“The boys need to try staying concentrated and disciplined, always respectful to the opponent, but without any fear. Moving the ball quickly, and switching sides is crucial against aggressive teams like Kyrgyz. So let’s hope our boys will stay focused. We have seen in our last match against UAE that the pace of the game is much quicker than what our boys are used to, so having more than two touches on the ball doesn’t help,” Stimac said on Saturday.

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India had beaten Oman 2-1 in their first encounter and suffered a 0-1 loss against hosts UAE in their next match. In contrast, Kyrgyz Republic beat UAE 2-1 in their first match, while they lost to Oman 0-1 in the second.

“Kyrgyz Republic defeated UAE deservedly and were unlucky to lose to Oman in the dying minutes after missing some great chances. They are an aggressive side, and are physically very strong, well prepared and quick in transition,” the coach explained.

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“They have 4-5 players with great technical abilities so we shouldn’t leave time or space for them to operate. Of the ball, they move well and we need to find a way to move the ball before they get to us. It will be a very interesting game.”

–IANS

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