More than happy to get a point against Qatar, says India coach Stimac

DOHA: He is more than happy with the lonely point that the Indian football team snatched by drawing against the Asian champion Qatar but the coach Igor Stimac He says he has told players to remain punished because they cannot afford complacency during FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

The former Croatian international wants the Indian players to stay focussed and garner more points in their upcoming matches. India dished out a gritty performance to Qatar to a goalless draw in a FIFA World Cup Round 2 qualifying match here on Tuesday night.

As a coach, I don't have time to lose thinking much more than it was a few days ago when we lost to Oman. Still today as a coach, of course, I am more than happy to have a point against the current champions of Asia, Stimac said at the post-match press conference.

We need to improve in certain areas, on the other hand, all congratulations not only to my players but also to Qatar. There was enthusiasm against both goals, of course.

It was a great experience for us. All the credits for my players, I am very proud of my players. But the message for the team is to stay low, since it is only one point, he added.

Despite playing without his captain and talisman striker Sunil Chhetri , who suffered a low fever, the Indians denied Qatar, which won the Asian Cup title in January, despite the fact that the local team achieved more than a dozen target shots.

Qatar deserved more from this game. They created more opportunities today but we also had many opportunities, Stimac said.

Stimac also criticized those who criticized his team's fitness levels after India lost 1-2 to Oman in his first campaign match, with Oman's two goals in the last eight minutes.

The coach said that fitness was never a problem for his side.

You see, I can't answer every comment after a game because not many people are well educated about football. We are a fit team and we demonstrate it today.

We played against Qatar and made room for us even in the last minutes. We did sprints even in the 95th minute, showing a lot of concentration. So we show fitness, Stimac said.

India will play with Bangladesh in their next World Cup qualifying match in Calcutta on October 15 and the coach expects a full house in the mecca of Indian football.

Our country has a population of more than 1.3 billion people compared to that it was a very small crowd.

I want to see 80,000 people in Kolkata against Bangladesh. We deserve it and need to come to support us, Stimac signed.