Amman: In the first ever friendly between the two sides, visitors India suffered a narrow 2-1 loss to hosts Jordan at the Jordanian capital city.
Debutant Nishu Kumar was the lone goalscorer for the Blue Tigers, who played the match with a depleted and tired squad.
The entire team was unable to assemble in Jordan on time and as a result, some of India's key players were left out of the playing eleven.
Inspite of the all troubles, the team put up a valiant fight in the second half and dominated the game in patches.
“I thought the boys were outstanding. I just want to thank them individually, all the 15 or 17 that participated. They gave everything. I can't ask for more. Maybe we were unfortunate to not get an equaliser but it was important to play the game. We had no intention of not playing but circumstances changed things. Disappointed we lost but it is okay.” said the English-Cypriot coach.
"The seven players that came late we asked them on how they were feeling. Some felt bad and some were not so bad. I did not want to risk other guys. Ashique (Kuruniyan) and (Sumeet) Passi are young and so they recover quicker. Ashique did magnificently as he gave his all in the 45 minutes and so did the others. I could not have risked all of them on medical grounds.” he added.
Constantine also expressed his satisfaction from the game. "The boys that played today gave them a little push in the right direction to be in the squad (For Asian Cup). It is another month to go and I just hope that no one gets injured. And today my biggest worry was not having the preparation we needed but more importantly no one got injured. Considering that we played without a striker in the first half and most of them out of position, it is a great performance. These boys have given me a lot in the last four years and I appreciate it.”
The former Rwanda coach also praised Nishu Kumar, “I am extremely proud of all the 47 players that debuted under me. All of them have contributed in their very own way. I want all of them to have fantastic careers going ahead. It is a great feeling to see them flourish for their clubs. India has a bigger pool of players right now and I am delighted Nishu scored on his debut and that too playing out of position in a game under difficult circumstances.”