AFC Asian Cup qualifiers: India eyes win as Kyrgyz seeks revenge

India is currently at the pole position in Group A with 13 points from 5 matches so far.

India coach Stephen Constantine with goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the press conference.   -  AIFF MEDIA

 

Having already confirmed its qualification for the AFC Asian Cup, Indian national team coach Stephen Constantine stressed that "we (India) haven’t come here to lose," ahead of the match against Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek.

READ:  India's 24-man squad for Kygyz match

“Our objective was to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and we have achieved our aim. From now on, it’s part of our preparation for the Asian Cup to be held next year,” he added on Monday, ahead of the last league match of the qualification.

India is currently at the pole position in Group A with 13 points from 5 matches so far. The last time the two teams met in Bengaluru, Sunil Chhetri’s sublime strike made the difference between the two teams.

A win will help India top the group and in the process get a favourable pot in the Asian Cup draw scheduled for May 4.

Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who was also present at the press conference stated that "there isn’t any added pressure.”

Gurpreet also highlighted the importance of a solid back four which lays the bedrock for the success of any team.

“Not only us, every team needs a solid back line. We have conceded few and have been able to put pressure on our opponents. The plan worked for us. We’ll look forward continuing doing that”, he said.

Kyrgyz coach Alexander Krestinin, on the other hand, stated that his side is seeking "revenge", having lost to India in the previous leg in Bengaluru in June last year.

The host has also qualified for the finals in 2019 and remains three points shy of India.

"Yes, we have already qualified but the qualification process isn't over yet. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a new match and we both will have to start from zero. We're ready for the challenge and we are ready to face India at our home," said Krestinin.

"We had a great victory against Myanmar to qualify but the process is still on. Our preparation is going according to the plan and we look to secure another victory ahead of our own fans", the 39-year-old gaffer opined.

India will be without its skipper Chhetri, who remains suspended for the match.

The kick-off is on Tuesday slated for IST 7.30pm.