A confident Indian football team will look to get the better of Nepal one more time as it faces the Himalayan nation in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup second leg preliminary qualifying game (round 1) tomorrow.
India won the home leg 2-0 with goals from Sunil Chhetri, who struck twice in the second half in a dominating display at Guwahati last week.
Coach Stephen Constantine, whose second stint with the team started on a winning note, seemed a confident man as the players went about their tasks during the pre-match training session.
“If you ask me, 2-0 is a very deceiving scoreline. If Nepal score, the game changes. I have said this from the very beginning that this will be a very difficult task for us. The game is still available for both teams,” Constantine said at the pre-match press conference.
The Indian players will be feeling the heat as Nepal will have home crowd backing them.
“With a vociferous crowd backing them, Nepal will want to score an early goal which would give them the momentum to push ahead. We need to prevent that. We need to maintain the shape and discipline,” the coach added.
Two years ago, playing at the same venue, India suffered a defeat and they will look to come back with pleasant memories this time around.
“The match is far from over. The first half has just been over. It is still to be played,” Constantine stated.
The same sentiment was echoed by Nepal head coach Jack Stefanowski.
“The result in the first-leg was disappointing for us. It added to our confidence playing against a good team. This is our home match and we are confident.
“In Guwahati, we started to go away from our game plan and in the last two days we have worked on it again. It’s our home match and we aim to level scores and then go for the kill,” Stefanowski said.
Complementing his coach, Indian captain Subrata Paul wasn’t willing to read much into the 2-0 victory.