India's Semi-final Against Pakistan is Just Another Contest, Says Coach Stephen Constantine
Indian football team head coach Stephen Constantine says the upcoming SAFF Cup semi-final against arch-rivals Pakistan will be "just another match".
India coach Stephen Constantine (Image: AIFF)
Dhaka: Indian football team head coach Stephen Constantine says the upcoming SAFF Cup semifinal against arch-rivals Pakistan will be "just another match".
India's back-to-back victories against Sri Lanka and Maldives helped them book a semi-final clash with Pakistan, which will be played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on 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 said Monday.
The two sides last played an official match in September 2013 in Kathmandu. India had piped Pakistan by eking out a solitary goal on that occasion.
Incidentally, Pakistan have qualified for the last-four of SAFF Suzuki Cup after 13 long years and they now lock horns with the seven-time champions, India.
Constantine also lauded Nepal's achievements and called them deserving entrants into the semifinals.
"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 semi-final.
Meanwhile, Manvir Singh, who was declared the 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," he added.
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