New Delhi: It was Monday evening and all eyes were on the India-Syria final at the Ambedkar Stadium. The moment had come for India to show their mettle against a team placed 61 spots higher than the hosts.
India started the two halves well however it was the Syrians who looked much more in control of the proceedings as the game progressed.
The West Asians hit the woodwork and looked dangerous every time they went forward.
Amidst all this, a fan carried a banner: Renedy, Sushil, Gouramangi and Surkumar, Manipuris are proud of you.
Fast forward to the second half of the extra time, and in comes Renedy Singh with the fans roaring as he enters.
They have been really great. We couldn’t have done anything without them. It’s a great feeling. They do play an important role,” said Renedy.
Bhaichung is fouled, Renedy lines up to take the free-kick and bends it into the near post and stuns the Syrians who hadn’t conceded in the tournament.
“David Beckham is the best dead ball specialist. I have been a big fan of him throughout my career. I have scored earlier from dead ball situations but this is one is right on top,” said the India number eight.
However, the Manipuri was disappointed that his goal couldn’t decide the fate of the game which should have been the case had India not conceded in the dying moments of the game.
“We were just 30 seconds away from glory and they equalised,” he said.
“But it’s a great thing to have won three titles in three years. Credit goes to the coach as he made us believe that we can achieve these things.”
“I would dedicate my goal and the win to the team and the supporters. Like we need to win for our efforts, they also deserve to see us to do well for all of their support,” said the East Bengal player.
The crowd at Ambedkar saw a large contingent hailing from the north east and Renedy states that it’s down to the popularity of the game in the north eastern region of India.
“North east supporters play an important role. 60 to 70% crowd was from Delhi University where people from north east often come for studies. Bob (Houghton) wants to play in Delhi because of them. Whenever we are trailing they still cheer us. We are not a Japan or a Korea but with the public support, I feel things are possible,” said the double footed star.
Renedy always believed that India could get the better of Syria in the finals and he has his reasons for it.
“I have never said we don’t have a chance. I had a feeling that we would win. In the Saturday’s game against Syria, Pradeep hit the post and Mehraj also had a great chance in the first half. I knew that if we get the chances, then we could do something.
“I’m very pleased and for now, I just to enjoy this moment,” said Renedy who shall be joining his club East Bengal to play in the IFA Shield.