AFC Asian Cup 2019: Pritam Kotal - India have to respect UAE

The defender aims for three points against the host nation...

After India won their first Asian Cup match in 55 years, defeating Thailand 4-1 on Sunday, defender Pritam Kotal believes the Blue Tigers are destined for greater things to come.

Reflecting upon their Asian Cup 2019 Group A opener, Kotal said, "The first match was very important for us. We played well and got the three points. The next game is with the home side and it is important that we perform well, all the teams in the group are tough opponents and there won't be any easy games, that's for sure. We are prepared for the upcoming games and will fight until the last minute." 

UAE were held by Bahrain in their first game but the ATK defender is wary of the All Whites, "They are a great team (UAE) but I'm not gonna say anything more now. Let's see what happens in tomorrow's (Thursday) game. We have to respect the team, they are a very good side even though they didn't perform well in their first game. We will have to fight tomorrow and try to get the three points."

The 25-year-old expects more crowd in the upcoming games, "There were many supporters who turned up for our team (India), there are many Indians who live in this country so I hope they turn up in good numbers for the game against UAE as well. Their support really keeps us motivated."

After the win against Thailand, Kotal talks about the motivated dressing room, "It's a very good feeling to win matches. After the last win, the players are very motivated, the entire dressing room is pretty happy. But we have to focus on our main goal now which is qualification to the next round."