Sat, 27 Nov 2021

Male [Maldives], October 17 (ANI): Former India striker and the All India Football Federation's technical committee chairman Shyam Thapa feels head coach Igor Stimac needs to be appreciated for Blue Tigers' win in SAFF Championship.

India convincingly defeated Nepal 3-0 at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives, on Saturday to win the SAFF Championship trophy for the eighth time.

Shyam Thapa said coach Stimac's job is not easy and he must be praised following India's win in the final.

"I had full faith in the team. I asked everyone to be patient. The first two matches were not the final, and in the final, they showed what they are. They kept the reputation of our country. We are still number one in the SAFF region," quoted Thapa as saying.

"They played really well against Nepal. I am happy with the performance. We must appreciate the coach as well. His job is not easy. When India were playing badly, he was criticised and now he must be appreciated.

"Match by match they have improved and they kept their best for the final. But there is still a lot of scope to improve," he added.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri (48') opened the scoring before youngster Suresh Singh (50') doubled the lead within a minute to a two-goal lead for the Blue Tigers in the second half.

Sunil Chhetri ended the SAFF Championships 2021 with the most number of goals -- 5 and he has now also equalled Lionel Messi of Argentina in the international men's goal tally. (ANI)

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