Constantine: Clash against Pakistan just another match

India has qualified for the semifinals of the SAFF Suzuki Cup having won both its Group B matches against Sri Lanka and Maldives.

India football team coach Stephen Constantine with the team.   -  H. Vibhu

Even as the footballing fraternity looks ahead to India’s semifinal against Pakistan in the ongoing SAFF Suzuki Cup, coach Stephen Constantine described it as “just another match.”

Courtesy India’s back-to-back victories against Sri Lanka and Maldives, both by 2-0 margins, India booked a semifinal clash with Pakistan on September 12 (Wednesday).

"We are aware of the contest. But that is nothing different. It’s just another match. We can't let the occasion get over us and hopefully, we will beat them to advance to the final,” Constantine commented.

The two sides last played an official match in September 2013 in Kathmandu, India emerging thewinner by a solitary goal on that occasion. Incidentally, Pakistan has qualified to the last-four of SAFF Suzuki Cup after 13 long years and is set to face off against the seven-time winner.

Constantine lauded Nepal’s achievements and expressed it deserved to reach the semis.

"Nepal have played some stupendous football and they have deservingly reached the semis. Hopefully, we get a win against Pakistan and face Nepal in the final,” he maintained.

Nepal will play Maldives in the other semifinal which is scheduled on the same day.

Meanwhile, Manvir Singh, who was declared most valuable player for his performance against Maldives, stated his first International goal was his 'most delightful moment' as a footballer.

"Scoring for the country is always special. The first goal – it’s a different emotion. I was sniffing around but the goal was eluding me,” he quipped. "So finally, when I made it, it was the most delightful moment for me as a footballer. The win has been a result of our team game and now we're looking forward to the semi-finals."