Important lessons from India's defeat at Asian Cup

Sports

15 Jan 2019

Lessons India can learn from their AFC Asian Cup exit

India could not build on their success of winning their first match against Thailand at the AFC Asian Cup, and ended up getting knocked out of the tournament after losing to the UAE and Bahrain.

Tactical deficiencies were the reason the Blue Tigers fell behind, and this defeat should be looked at objectively.

Here are the lessons India can learn.

Strength

Play to your strength and don't reveal your weakness

Play to your strength and don't reveal your weakness

India's first and major fault was taking a defensive approach and trying to attack on the counter.

This proved to be a huge problem, as India hardly had the strength and pace to match those of Bahrain and UAE.

What India should have done is build strategies around attacking and focus on scoring goals and getting an early advantage over their opponents.

Finishing

Improve on finishing and train strikers accordingly

Among the chances India created, they could hardly convert any.

This became their bane as opponents quickly realized that India were not clinical finishers, and started taking chances against the Blue Tigers by going on the offensive.

What India should do is further train forwards and bring them to the level other top Asian forwards are at, and not depend on Chhetri always.

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Team selection

Don't bench players who are playing well

Don't bench players who are playing well

What left many perplexed was Constantine's decision to bench Anirudh Thapa after he put up a spectacular performance in the first match against Thailand.

Thapa was benched by Constantine in favor of Rowlin Borges and this left football experts baffled.

Constantine did it to close gaps in midfield and defend strongly, but India's shambolic attack neutralized any defensive advantages India could muster.

Involvement

Involve your best players as much as possible

As a result of the ultra-defensive strategy India took, players like Udanta Singh, Halicharan Narzary and Sunil Chhetri were almost nullified and did not have much to do, especially in second halves of matches.

This was entirely Constantine's fault, and going forward it should be taken as an important lesson that players as good as Singh and Chhetri should be more involved in the proceedings.

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AFC Asian Cup 2019

Indian Football Team

Stephen Constantine

Sunil Chhetri

AFC Asian Cup

Anirudh Thapa

Blue Tigers

Constantine

Halicharan Narzary

India

Lessons India

Rowlin Borges

Udanta Singh

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Most asked questions

Has the AIFF named Constantine's possible replacements?

What went wrong in the approach to the game against Bahrain?

Whom should AIFF bring on as the new coach?

When did Constantine announce his resignation?

More questions

Has the AIFF named Constantine's possible replacements?

Asked 2019-01-15 19:21:48 by Arnav Kadam

Answered by NewsBytes

There are many options, the AIFF has not zeroed in on anyone yet.

What went wrong in the approach to the game against Bahrain?

Asked 2019-01-15 19:21:48 by Aadhya Mehra

Answered by NewsBytes

India were looking for a draw and did not attack much.

Whom should AIFF bring on as the new coach?

Asked 2019-01-15 19:21:48 by Aditya Trivedi

Answered by NewsBytes

Zico might be the ideal coach for India now.

When did Constantine announce his resignation?

Asked 2019-01-15 19:21:48 by Tejas Shah

Answered by NewsBytes

Constantine announced his resignation within an hour after the match against Bahrain ended.

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