Stephen Constantine resigns as India coach

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AFC Media
The Englishman has decided to step down from his position after failing to guide India to the knockout stages of the Asian Cup...

Stephen Constantine has resigned as the head coach of the Indian national team after the team crashed out of the AFC Asian Cup on Monday.

India needed a draw against Bahrain in their final group match to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time ever in their history. However, they were thwarted in cruel fashion as an 89th minute penalty from Jamal Rashed handed Bahrain all three points.

Immediately after the defeat, the Englishman revealed that he had decided to step down from his position.

"I have been here for four years. My objective from day one was to qualify for the Asian Cup and we have done that," expressed the coach.

"I am exceptionally proud of the players for everything that they have given. I thank the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kushal Das, Praful Patel and Abhishek Yadav for the support that they have given me.

Stephen Constantine India Asian Cup 2019

"I think my cycle is finished. I did what I was asked. It is time for me to move on."

India had started the Asian Cup campaign in fantastic fashion, after a 4-1 thumping of Thailand. But defeats to UAE and Bahrain saw them finish last in their group.

The former Millwall coach took over the Blue Tigers in 2015 in his second stint in India and managed to guide them into the Asian Cup after a hiatus of eight years. Earlier, Constantine had coached India from 2002 to 2005.

The 56-year-old has overseen a period of resurgence in Indian football. He hIndia climb from the 173rd spot in the FIFA rankings back in 2015 and break through to the top 100 last year. And after a heart-breaking, yet competitive campaign on the continental stage, he has decided to walk out.

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