India got off to a flying start in the Intercontinental Cup 2018 as skipper Sunil Chhetri scored a brilliant hat-trick to lead his team to a 5-0 victory over Chinese Taipei on Friday in Mumbai. Udanta Singh and Pronay Halder scored a goal apiece to complete the rout.
Stephen Constantine was all smiles in the post-match press conference and generously praised the team's performance.
"I think we played well in quite a few games in the last few months. Today everything clicked; the boys were much sharper than they were in the previous two games. There were a few encouraging performances from the youngsters," said Constantine.
The British gaffer had special words of appreciation for two youngsters Anirudh Thapa and Pronay Halder. He even went a step further and admitted that he sees streaks of himself in Halder.
"Pronay Halder reminds me of me as young player. Very aggressive and he needs to control that. He's a destroyer and I'm pleased he got the goal. We got tougher games coming so let's not get carried away.
"Thapa has great potential and works hard. We need that to continue. He could be with the national team for the next ten years," applauded Constantine.
Chinese Taipei fielded a relatively weakened side with six U-23 players and two U-18 players starting the match. But, the 55-year old coach did not wish to entertain matters that is not under his control and chose to concentrate on his next opponents.
"I don't control what and who they (opposition) bring. We play whoever is in front of us. We had two players who had debuts and the other two came on too, so we also played young players.
Kenya will be a completely different problem for us," signed off Constantine.