The Indian national team failed to take revenge of the 1-0 defeat in Bangkok as they went down 2-1 against Thailand at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday evening.
At post-match press conference, India coach Bob Houghton praised the performance of his players but rued the missed opportunities.
“The performance of our boys was commendable and it was much better than Saturday. They kept working hard and attacked a lot more while the Thais played on the break. But I am disappointed that we did not take our chances.”
The Englishman was full of praise for the Thailand side and stated that the ‘War Elephants’ is the best team they have played for quite some time.
“Thailand are a very talented team and progressing in Asia. They completely deserved to win in Bangkok. In today’s game, it was about taking chances and they were rewarded for taking theirs.
“Overall I feel they are a very strong team and are the best team we have played in recent times. They are even better than Syria.”
On the eve of the match Houghton had ruled out Indian skipper Bhaichung Bhutia but in the post-match press conference he said that he always planned to play the Sikkimese Sniper for some amount of time.
“I wanted to play Bhaichung in this match. It didn’t matter whether he started or was brought on but the important thing is he got some playing time.
“He was only on the pitch for twenty minutes but still had a major impact as we managed to create some good chances.”
The Indian captain had a strong penalty appeal turned down in stoppage time as the referee only awarded a freekick. When asked to give his opinion, Houghton said he didn’t get a clear view of the incident.
“I was not near the spot so I didn’t get a clear view of it and thus cannot comment much. But I feel it was inside the box however that is not a major issue.”
India next face African outfit Namibia on 15th September and that game too will be played at Delhi’s Ambedkar Stadium.