Pune: Held to a goalless draw by lower-ranked Nepal, India football coach Stephen Constantine rued the missed chances in the international friendly match here and said it was a learning process for his team.
A dominating 156th-ranked home side was held to a goalless draw by Nepal, ranked 184, in an international friendly at the Balewadi Stadium here last night.
"It's a learning process, we created many chances but we did not score. It is as simple as that. We have learned a great deal from the match and that is what International Friendlies are for...you get to see who plays and who does not," said Constantine at the post-match press conference.
Constantine employed as many as five substitutions but the deadlock could not be broken.
"I had expected this kind of game against Nepal and we lost momentum in the second half. We tried different players in different positions, and that is another advantage of these Friendly games," he said.
The coach said had India got more time to practice, they would have done better.
"The Indian team has had a nine-day training camp as compared to Nepal, who had been practicing for six weeks. If given time, I can bet that this team will perform," Constantine said.
India will next take on Iran in the World Cup qualifiers on September 8.
"You will not get many chances against Iran. But the plus is we created almost 3-4 clear chances (against Nepal). Had we scored, we would've won," Constantine insisted.
"Rowlin (Borges) was the best player in the second half and Pronoy (Halder) was the same in the first. One of the reasons of substituting Pronoy was that he had been booked," said the British coach.
Constantine said despite a good outing in the field there were times when a team failed to click.
"Both Sunil (Chhetri) and Robin (Singh) are very hard-working. But sometimes you just don't click. It happens, that is what football is all about. Some players had run 6-6.5 kms in the first half. And that is what I like in my team.
They should be hardworking," he stressed.
The Indian team had been training at the DSK Shivajian's training facilities from August 23 and Constantine was all praise for the amenities provided.
"My special gratitude to the guys at DSK for organising a brilliant camp. I wish camps like this were all across India.
I would also like to thank the media and the fans who supported and cheered for the team, said Constantine.
The coach of Nepal national team Dhruba KC said India were worthy opponents.
"The Indian team was very tough on the pitch. It was evident through their style of play. I am happy with a draw as a draw against India can be counted as a good result," Dhruba said.