AFC Asian Cup 2019: Atanu Bhattacharya - Gurpreet kept India in the game against Bahrain

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The legendary goalkeeper praised his erstwhile pupil for putting up a splendid display against Bahrain...

India international Gurpreet Singh Sandhu trained under the watchful eyes of Atanu Bhattacharya during his stint with East Bengal.

Bhattacharya, who is revered for his heroics in the 1984 Asian Cup was satisfied with Gurpreet's performance under the sticks but India's display in general against Bahrain disappointed the former custodian.

"It was a do-or-die match for them (Bahrain). They played penetrative football. They showed quality on the ball. Gurpreet had a wonderful game. India would have conceded much earlier but for Gurpreet.

"You cannot defend for 90 minutes. How long can you put up a barricade? You will commit a mistake at some point. One mistake, one penalty and we are out. It is extremely disappointing. Somewhere even at the back of your mind if you start thinking about not conceding and play for a draw, it is a problem. One must always play for a win," opined the former East Bengal keeper. 

Sandhu had an impressive outing against Bahrain and made five saves which kept India in contention until the 90th minute. But a Jamal Rashed spot-kick dashed India's hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages of the continental competition.

India head coach Stephen Constantine stepped down from his position after the country's exit from the continental tournament.

Now it remains to be seen when does the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) technical committee convene to decide the next coach for the India national team. 

 

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