Koevermans happy with show

A largely soporific 1-0 victory for the India Under-23 side against Pakistan is nothing to harp about but coach Wim Koevermans said he was happy during the post-match press conference. 

“We’ve taken big steps forward since we (the side) first came together six weeks ago,” he said.  “I am happy but we can still improve on a few areas and I am looking forward to the game on Wednesday.” 

On Robin Singh’s dismissal, Koevermans said: “I will talk to him.”

“I first need to see what happened and how it happened. Robin is a very important player to us and I will talk to him.”
 The Dutchman, who is also in charge of the Indian senior team, said he will try to counter-attack teams in the upcoming Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea.  “In the Asiad, when we will face better sides, we can play in a counter-attacking system as we do have pace on the wings. But first, it is important to defend,” he noted. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Mohammad Shamlan was pragmatic when asked about not capitalising after the home side went down to 10 men. 

“That is football. But I can see development day by day in this squad and I am happy.” 

He also noted that the Indian team don’t have any tactics. “They have no new tactics. They need more solutions on the wing and the middle.” 

“Their No 9 (Robin).. isn’t an ideal starter in that side -- long pass (tactics) doesn’t suit him.” 

The second and final match of the friendship series is at the same venue on Wednesday. 

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