The Dutchman had plenty to worry about when his team missed every penalty in training. But they managed to do it when it counted. Joy and excitement defined Koevermans post-match
"It was an incredible victory. Obviously, we had to straighten a few things at the half time and it was an incredible fight by the boys," said Koevermans, quite discernibly happy.
And he revealed that he had had quite the nailbiter the previous day in training when somehow the entire team contrived to miss the penalties during practice.
"Yesterday, when we were practising penalties, the boys took eight penalties and believe it or not we missed all of them. I told the boys that this is certainly not going to happen. And then they come back in the match and score five out of five," said the Dutchman, possibly more relieved than anything else that this terrible situation disappeared along with any possible matchday nerves.
But was this the pinnacle in the coaching career of the man who had been a player in the Euro winning Netherlands squad of 1988? He remained excited and noncommittal at the same time. "They played like a well oiled unit and were never bogged down by big names. I couldn't believe it. I have had a few highs in my coaching career but this one will certainly be one of the special moments," he said.
The Dutchman highlighted the importance of this win and hailed the fighting spirit showed by his team against a superior opposition.
“Cameroon are a top quality opposition but we showed we can fight. There were times we were getting outplayed but still clawed our way back. This ability to pull ourselves up has impressed me the most,” he mentioned.And on being asked about what was next for Team India in terms of international friendlies, Koevermans revealed, "We hope to play a few matches in October and November. The AIFF will be arranging a few matches, I guess. Obviously, the more matches we play, better it is. The key is to qualify for the AFC tournament (Asian Cup). I will also monitor their performance during Federation Cup."
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