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AFC Asian Cup

Asian Cup 2019: Sunil Chhetri - In these big games, margins count

23:19 GMT+4 10/01/2019
India vs UAE Sunil Chhetri
The Indian skipper backed the youngsters in the squad and praised them for ‘giving their lives’ on the pitch…

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri was disappointed after losing 2-0 to UAE on Thursday at the Zayed City Sports Complex, Abu Dhabi in the match number 2 of Asian Cup 2019 Group ‘A’.

An unlucky India failed to convert easy chances and hit the crossbar twice and finally leave behind three crucial points.

Speaking about the missed chances, the designated Indian skipper of the match said, “If even one went in, things would have been so different, we would have had them exactly where we wanted to. Even if one went in early on, it would have been 1-0 and they would have got desperate.”

He continued, “One half-chance. The ball goes down the line and we had two defenders, Anas and Jhingan, sorted, but, Ahmed Mabkhout takes the ball, gives it to Mubarak Al Shamsi and it just goes in. So in these big games, margins count. We came back in the second half; Udanta hit the crossbar, if that went in at 1-1 things would be different again.”

The talismanic striker suggested that no one thought that India would get so many chances against UAE and miss them also. He said, “Before the game, we wouldn't have thought we would have got five chances, hit the post twice. If somebody would have told me, I would have taken it and I would have backed myself to score those.”

The skipper backed his teammates and praised them for giving their best on the pitch. He said, “I don't want the young ones to think something drastic has happened. In four days, no one is going to help us, it's us who are going to play so I don't want them to think too much negative. We are going to watch the videos and see what we can learn from them. But, you can't ask for more from them. You can’t ask a (Anirudh) Thapa, Pronay (Halder), young Udanta (Singh) or Halicharan (Narzary), they just gave their lives and it shows and I am really proud of that. Hopefully, next time we are the ones on the fortunate side.”