We don`t have quality strikers: Savio Medeira

Kathmandu: As India bowed out of the AFC Challenge Cup with second straight defeat, coach Savio Medeira rued lack of opportunities for strikers to improve because of flawed strategy of I-League clubs.

India lost to Philippines 0-2 on Sunday, having lost to Tajikistan earlier.

Medeira also said the defeats were, "the collective responsibility of all."

"We couldn`t sustain the momentum after the conceding the first goal. We made many mistakes in the midfield and it never allowed us to stage a comeback in the match. We lost our plot and that is where we went wrong," he said.

The coach lamented the lack of quality strikers in India.

"All the Clubs prefer to play foreign strikers in the I-League, a result of which local lads hardly get a chance to play. We need to change the system," he said.

"This team is a young side, it will take time for them to gain experience and perform the way the seniors have."

When asked about captain Sunil Chhetri`s performance, he said, "He seemed lack on match practice. He injured his ankle in the SAFF Championship final and this is the first competitive tournament since then. He seemed rusty upfront.”

Meanwhile, his counterpart, Philippines` German coach Hans Michael Weiss applauded his team`s commitment, especially Philip James Younghusband?s efforts.

"We suffered from jet-lag and the high altitude had an effect on us in our first match. We performed better in this match as we acclimatized better," Weiss said.

Speaking on India’s performance he said,"India relied more on long-balls instead of short passes. I think, the strategy hurt them the most."