Narender Gahlot: 'Stimac doesn't put pressure on me'

Narender Gahlot scored his first professional goal in India's 1-1 draw against Syria in the Intercontinental Cup.

Narender Gahlot gave India the lead against Syria from a corner kick.   -  Twitter @IndianFootball

Defender Narender Gahlot on Tuesday became the first Indian player to be born after 2000 to score a goal in his side's 1-1 draw against Syria in the Intercontinental Cup in Ahmedabad.

Playing only his second international game, Gahlot put India ahead in the 52nd minute with a thumping header from a Anirudh Thapa corner kick.

On his goal, the 18-year-old said, "I just wanted to get closer to goal somehow. (Thapa) He put in a good cross. As a team we did well (today).

Coach Igor Stimac had backed the youngster after his debut against Tajikistan last week saw India fall to a 4-2 defeat despite leading 2-0 at half-time.

"The coach doesn't put pressure on me. (Sandesh) Jhingan and Sunil (Chhetri) bhai give me a lot of support. We will win, lose or draw as a team. Everyone motivates each other in this team," said Gahlot.

The Jamsdhedpur FC defender said he and his teammates are adapting to his coach's demands. "He is teaching us how to pass and move it will take time for us to get comfortable with that," he said.

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