India drew 2-2 with Bangladesh at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa earlier this month. Captain Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring in the first half when proceedings were completely dominated by India, but Bangladesh went 2-1 up in the second before an injury time equaliser from the Bengaluru FC skipper saved India the blushes.
Chhetri was present at gaming zone 'SMAAASH' in Mumbai to felicitate the winner of the 'Goalie Gaucamole Challenge'.
On being asked to comment on India’s display, Chhetri mentioned that he was puzzled about what went wrong in the game.
“We were very good in the first half, then I don’t know what happened. I don’t want to give any reasons but I think we weren’t good at all. We didn’t do anything in the second half, and allowed the other team to come back. They dominated possession.
“I was really annoyed. Especially when you’re home against Bangladesh and you’ve dominated the first half you can’t allow them back. It’s the fault of the team together. I don’t want to blame any players or coaches. It’s not acceptable. We had a team meeting after that and we were all sad and mad about the fact,” he told Goal.
He went on to say that failing to get a positive result against Bangladesh is not acceptable, especially if you consider the fact that team India have performed better against higher ranked nations at home.
“We have to push on from the next game. We played against the Philippines, which is a much better team, in Siliguri and drew 1-1. We beat Nepal 2-0. When you have the momentum you can’t let it go. We played Bangladesh at home and when we dominate the half like we did, it was a complete contrast in the second half. When I was taking a shower after the game I was wondering, ‘What happened today?’ We win together and lose together, as a team, right from the physios, coach, players, everyone.”
Chhetri then went on to emphazise on the importance of the national and club coaches being in sync for the betterment and growth of national football. He gave European and world champions, Spain as the example all countries should strive towards.
'What is more important is the talk and the link between the national team and club coaches. It is very important that the club coaches see how the national team wants to play and work towards making it better. I can give you Spain’s example.
“The way Spain play, is exactly the way Madrid, Barcelona play. That way whenever a player goes from say Atletico Madrid to the national team, he won’t be lost. It’s very important for our head coach (Wim Koevermans) of the national team and all the other coaches to be in sync. They may not always agree, but at least they know what’s happening and they have a channel of communication so players don’t get zapped when they move.”
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