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Need to find strength and power to beat Kyrgyz Republic: Stimac

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Dubai, Oct 29 (IANS) Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac has said that “one single mistake” cost India a point against UAE in the Qualifiers for the AFC U23 Asian Cup here.

India suffered a heart-breaking lone-goal defeat against the UAE in their second match of the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers here on Wednesday night and Stimac said ahead of the match against Kyrgyz Republic on October 30 that “some players lost freshness in their legs” in the second half, which cost them the game.

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India were unlucky to concede an 82nd-minute penalty and Abdulla Idrees converted it to seal victory for the hosts.

“In the first half we handled it well, especially when the legs were still fresh. We also had two great chances in the first half. We played against a very good side who were deserving winners. In the second half they (UAE) demonstrated their power,” said Stimac on Thursday evening.

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“We were coming down and some players lost freshness in their legs. We needed to make some changes. We gave away an easy penalty. We made one mistake, and that mistake cost us a point, not three as we didn’t deserve three points against UAE,” the coach added.

After a 2-1 victory against Oman in their opener, India colts went down 0-1 to hosts UAE and currently stand on three points from two matches. They now play Kyrgyz Republic in their last group league game.

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“We play Kyrgyz Republic in the last game. We need to do our best, find the strength and power, and then get out on the pitch and get the points which may surprise all of Asia if India qualifies,” Stimac added.

“It’s a very interesting situation in the group wherein the situation is extremely tight. Teams are quite different, but then again very similar in regards to what someone can do on the pitch. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses,” he added.

“It is difficult for our players. We made only one change in the starting XI that played against Oman. We are doing everything possible for them. The five changes helped, but not enough to keep the quality of football which we expect, and is needed against strong opponents against UAE.”

–IANS

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