Passing game is the way forward: Koevermans

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2012, 22:10 PM IST

New Delhi: After India`s convincing win over Maldives in the Nehru Cup here on saturday, national football coach Wim Koevermans said his boys have the ability to do better and he would always encourage them to improve and get accustomed to playing the passing game.

India rode on the twin strike from skipper Sunil Chhetri and a goal by Syed Rahim Nabi to record a convincing 3-0 win at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here.

"They can do it. I am going to ask for more from them, I always do that. You have to be confident to do it and win games. Passing game is the way forward," Koevermans said in the post-match press conference.

His decision to drop a much-improved Sanju Pradhan for Robin Singh at the start of second half may have surprised many, but the Dutchman had an answer ready.

"I am pleased with the result, every win is important. It was an interesting first half, we played in the midfield and flanks, there were a few crosses but there were not enough support for Sunil (Chhetri) inside the box. That`s why we had to make a change in the second half, and bring in Robin to add a little power upfront," the coach said.

Asked about the penalty that gave India the lead, Koeverman said, "I don`t know if it was penalty, the referee decided on it."

He further said that the team was more dominant in the second half.

"We were more dominant in the second half, got 2 goals. We gave a few minor chances in the last 10 minutes but I am happy that we didn`t concede. All the players were pretty good. (We) made a little bit of adjustments after the first half. It could have been better," Koevermans said.

India were always on the attack in the second half, for which they were rewareded with two goals, and Koevermans acknowledged that.

"We were always trying to get 2-3 players into the box."

About Nirmal Chhetri`s injury, he said the player "received a knock on the shin, it happens in football. We have got two days to go."

Maldives coach Istvan Urbanyi did not seem too happy about the first penalty that India got.

"Our goalkeeper said that even the referee was not in a position to see it clearly. But we should have got one in the second half, I could see that," Urbanyi said.

About the hosts` performances, he said, "India played well, they had two chances but we had 4-5 chances. It`s difficult to come back after being 0-3 down. Ashfaq missing a chance in the first half, when he slipped, was crucial."