Intercontinental Cup: We deserve the win, says Constantine

The Indian coach felt that the tournament has helped in the team's preparation for the 2019 Asian Cup.

Indian team celebrate with the winning trophy after beating Kenya in final at the Hero International Cup   -  PTI

 

Having successfully won the Intercontinental Cup after an intense 2-0 win over Kenya in the final, national coach Stephen Constantine praised the team's resilience.

MATCH REPORT: Chhetri brace leads India to title

"The players were absolutely tremendous tonight and their work rate was fantastic. They didn't stop running although Kenya put a lot of pressure on us in the second half. The character and resilience of the team are what impressed me most. I really appreciate the work that the boys did and in the end, I think we deserve this," he said here on Sunday.

"I'd also like to thank the unbelievable crowd that came to support us in the last two games. They were definitely the extra man (for us)," he added.

On the Kenyan side, he said, "Especially in the second half, we were tired and the Kenyans showed how tough they are. They played two days ago and still were able to put pressure on us. That tells you the quality of their team."

Constantine also added that the tournament has indeed helped in preparing for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

"If we do the right things between now and then, we have a chance to qualify from the group. That will be our target. This tournament gave us an opportunity to prepare as we would at the Asia Cup," he noted.

Commenting on the win, captain Sunil Chhetri said, "We wanted to win this tournament but our peripheral vision is the Asian Cup. Everything we do is going to be about the Asian Cup. I played in the 2011 edition and I know how important and big it is for the country. I’m trying to tell the boys every day how big it is so that when we finish the Asia Cup I want them to feel that they've given each and everything we could have."