Incheon (South Korea), Sep 14 (IANS) Chief coach Tarun Roy lauded his girls as the Indian football team started its Asian Games campaign with a 15-0 thrashing of thee Maldives in Group A here Sunday.
“The first match of any tournament is of immense importance. It invariably sets the tone for the rest of the competition and we just couldn’t have afforded any slip-ups,” said Roy.
“We checked into the Games Village in Incheon yesterday (September 13) afternoon and had less than 24 hours to acclimatise for the first match. But the character on display on the field was amazing. The girls responded in style. I’m so much impressed,” he added.
Roy, nevertheless, was not willing to read too much into the big margin of victory. India next play hosts South Korea Wednesday.
“Our next match against the hosts South Korea will be a very tough one. They are one of the top teams in Asia and it will be a big challenge for us. We will carry our confidence into the next match as we prepare for them. But we cannot afford to be complacent,” Roy said.
Subrata Dutta, head of delegation, Indian football teams, was also delighted.
“In fact, this match was not just about football as we had the added responsibility of launching India’s campaign at the Games. That motivated us further as we had to keep the Tricolour fluttering high,” said Dutta, also a senior vice-president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
“The girls not only scored goals but displayed modern football which impressed everyone,” he said.