Igor Stimac lamented his India team’s “silly mistakes” after they lost 3-0 to Uzbekistan in their second consecutive Asian Cup match on Thursday.
The win puts Uzbekistan in a great position to qualify from Group B, with Australia, with one round of matches remaining.
India is at the bottom of the group with no points and no goals after being trounced 2-0 by Australia in their first encounter.
“If we take the goals out of the game — which were caused by silly mistakes — I could be happy with the performance,” Stimac, the coach of India, stated.
Abbosbek Fayzullaev, a 20-year-old CSKA Moscow winger, nodded in Otabek Shukurov’s looping header to put the Uzbeks ahead in Doha after only five minutes.
Chaotic Indian defence set up the second 14 minutes later, with a sliding Sandesh Jhingan chipping the ball against his own bar, allowing Igor Sergeev to score on the rebound.
India, ranked 102nd in the world behind Uzbekistan at 68, had their chances but were primarily confined to speculative crosses in front of almost 38,000 fans at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
Their chances of an unexpected comeback were dashed during first-half stoppage time, when Sherzod Nasrullaev took advantage of some statuesque defence to score a third.
Uzbekistan eased off the throttle in the second half, enabling India to make repeated efforts to feed Sunil Chhetri, but the veteran striker battled in vain and was substituted with 20 minutes left.
Fayzullaev, voted player of the tournament when Uzbekistan won the under-20 Asian Cup at home last year, claimed they have nothing to fear against Australia in their last group encounter.
The Socceroos have already advanced to the last 16, due to a 1-0 victory against Syria.
“Australia may be favourites, but this game is 11 versus 11,” that’s what he stated.
“I don’t think we are an inferior team to Australia because I have full confidence in our guys.”