Stephen Constantine’s created more chances in the match than the hosts but failed to find the back of the net even once.
Speaking about the match, Halder told Goal, “We created a lot of chances. We got five open net opportunities but we could not convert. I think it was not our day. They made the best use of their experience. They got three chances and converted two of them. That made the difference between the two sides.”
The ATK midfielder expressed his frustration for losing the match after dominating proceedings against a strong side like UAE. But he also mentioned that the defeat will not have any impact on the team’s morale ahead of the all important third match against Bahrain.
He said, “Yes, we are upset that we lost the match by 2-0. We did not play so badly that we would lose 2-0. We could not get the goals. We are not thinking about the past. We are pretty confident. Now our only target is to win the Bahrain match.”
Pronay has been a mainstay in the Indian midfield under Stephen Constantine and has been one of the leaders on and off the pitch. The defensive midfielder though suggested that there are no leaders on the pitch and that every player is shouldered with certain responsibilities.
“I love to take responsibility. But on the pitch, we do not treat anyone as a junior or senior player. We have 11 leaders on the pitch. If I make a mistake (Anirudh) Thapa points it out or vice versa. We have a good combination but we would definitely like to improve our partnership,” said the former Mohun Bagan player.
Pronay sounded confident ahead of facing Bahrain in the third match and suggested that the team is eyeing nothing short of three points.
He said, “We have come here with an aim. We have to qualify. We will play for three points. We will play to win. The coach will direct us further. He will let us know about the weaknesses and strengths of the Bahrain team and we will play accordingly.”
On asked if playing the three group matches in less than 10 days will affect India’s performance, the player suggested, “Two years back when there was a tight schedule, we had to play four matches within ten days, but that was in the league (Indian Super League). We have been recovering pretty well. So playing three matches in ten days is not a big issue.”