Five special things which came out of India’s win over Guam

India broke their losing streak in the 2018 FIFA World Qualifying round with a hard fought 1-0 win over Guam at Bengaluru as the the nation got the perfect Diwali gift. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Indians though as they had to play the second half with ten men following Sehnaj’s Singh sending off late in the first half.

The win put the smiles back on the Indian Football Team fans’ faces after five straight losses made them wonder whether there ever be light at the end of the tunnel.  But Robin Singh’s magic on 11 minutes sealed India’s first points in the qualifying campaign and suddenly the picture isn’t looking that gloomy for India.

Apart from the win, there few really special things which came out of the match. We take a look at five special things which came out of India’s 1-0 win over Guam yesterday.

1. India’s record breaking 12th man

India’s win over Guam was a lot down to the amazing supporters at Bengaluru’s Sree Kanteerava Stadium. The West Block Blues as they are famously called, once again showed that they are the best set of fans in Asia. There is proof too for that after the West Block was seen unfurl a huge banner urging the Indian Football Fans to get behind the Men in Blue and keep supporting them as they attempt to rise in global football. The banner was certainly the biggest ever unfurled in Indian Football history but also the largest in Asia. It is said that the banner measured 5200 sq. feet in area.

The fans kept singing on until the final whistle and the support kept the ten men of India going as they finally picked up their first win. It was a warming sight for Indian Football and we can now certainly say that the ‘Sleeping Giant’ of Football in beginning to awake. Robin Singh and Coach Stephan Constantine praised the fans after the game with the Coach Constantine crediting the fans for creating a wonderful atmosphere every time India walks out in Bengaluru. The huge banner will go down in the history of Indian Football and hope the win against Guam also marks a start of a turnaround in Indian Football.

2. The Return of Robin

If there was one player who received most of the stick for India’s bad performances, it was striker Robin Singh. But the striker shrugged off all the criticism and fired in an absolutely delightful goal which helped India to get its first win in the qualifying stage. Apart from the goal, Robin Singh was a menace in the Guam defence all evening and worked his socks off for the team.

It was a Robin Singh masterclass against Guam and India would be glad to see the old Robin Singh back. The fans acknowledged his efforts and gave a him a great ovation when he came off for Jeje in the 60th minute. Robin Singh has been among the goals in the ISL too and it seems Robin has rediscovered himself playing under Roberto Carlos and India is all set to reap its benefits.

3. Where there is a will, there is a way

India’s win against Guam was much more down to appetite than ability. India were hungry and desperate for the win. It was as if they had already decided that there was going to be only one outcome of the game. Guam started the game well, but it didn’t move the resolute Indians as they kept on threatening on the break and were rewarded in the 11th minute of the game. India kept Guam at bay thanks to tremendous hard work off the ball as a low pressing block completely thwarted Guam.

However with Sehnaj SIngh’s red card things changed and Guam grew into the game late in the second half. When it seemed India had run out of steam and would surrender their lead, the Indian team kept on going and dismissed everything that was thrown at them. It was a win of their determination and the hunger to succeed in the end and that’s something that will always help you achieve the next level. India now needs to believe in itself and possess that same hunger in the matches to come and who knows what is in store for India then.

4. Stephan Constantine’s faith in his players and his long term vision

Stephan Constantine has stuck to a specific group of players despite numerous defeats. The team has finally began to repay his faith and the win against Guam was the first step in that direction. Speaking after the game, Stephan Constantine reinstated his faith in this group of players and called them the future of Indian Football.

Constantine said the team needs to be together for 12-18 months to realize its true potential and Constantine believes these players are the best set of players which can take Indian football forward. It was quite good to see the Coach not getting too overjoyed with the win and sticking to his long term goals. As Constantine said, it will only be fair if we judge him and his team after eighteen months.

5. Superman Sandhu stakes claim for the role between the sticks

If there has been any kind of positive from the Qualifying campaign, it has to be Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who has been in outstanding form for India and has pretty much made the goalkeeping role in the team his own. There was lot of noise when Sandhu was drafted into the line-up in front of veteran Subrata Pal without having played any practise game. The goalkeeper who plays for Stabaek FC in the Norwegian League struggled in the first few games but has settled down well in the Indian goal.

Sandhu had yet another excellent game in the goal and commanded his space in the box. This solid performance came after his heroics in Muscat when he prevented Oman from racking up a cricket score in that game. Sandhu is still very young and can be a permanent member of the team for years to come. He is also all set to play in the Europa League next season and will be the first Indian to play in a major European competition.


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