'Physique of Aussies the difference'

India, who were playing in the tournament after 27 years, lost 0-4 to the team ranked 26 in world and boasted of 12 World Cup stars. India conceded three goals in the first half but did well in the second to be keep the Socceroos down to just one goal with goalkeeper Subrata Paul making some excellent saves.

“What can I say? The Australians have the experience and they play in the English league. It was a question of physique for us,” Houghton said at the Al Sadd stadium, which saw large number of vocal Indian supporters.

Asked about India’s future in football, the Englishman said qualifying in the Asia Cup was a good way forward. “Qualifying for this competition was trying to push the game up and getting infrastructure and facilities for us.”

Australia’s coach Holger Osieck said he was happy with the result and termed India’s performance “ambitious”.

“The idea was to break down the opponents and that’s what we did in the first half. But in the second half they did well. Our opposition are ambitious and are on their way ahead.”
India will next play Bahrain (Jan 14) and South Korea (Jan 18).

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