Midfield general Eugeneson Lyngdoh preferred to take a trip down memory lane to recollect Sunil Chhetri’s ‘amazing world-class strike against the Kyrgyz Republic in the first-leg in Bengaluru. In an interview, Lyngdoh brings back memories of India’s majestic win.
What do you remember the most about the match?
The confidence of the team stood out. It was a very crucial match for us. We had gained a very hard-earned victory against Myanmar, that too in an away match and couldn’t let the momentum slip. We knew that if we could win against the Kyrgyz Republic it would brighten our chances of making it to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup – UAE. We vowed to play our part and fought like warriors. The win was so satisfying.
What’s your best memory of the match?
Sunil’s strike. It was amazing, truly world class. I watch it over and over again; in fact, we all do.
Can you describe what you saw as being on the field?
It was that phase of the match where we were defending and they were very dominant. Even as we were clearing the ball, it was coming back at us. I remember shouting to all – ‘Keep the ball, keep the ball, don’t lose it.’ And that’s when it happened.
Sunil got it and went past, one, two, three (takes a pause). He passed to Jeje and I remember thinking to myself – we need to run up fast to help. But the duo had other ideas. The release from Jeje was exceptional and Sunil dug it to the corner in a flash. The hands went up in jubilation and the very next moment, we told ourselves – ‘Bhai, concede nahi karne ka.’
What would be your message to the boys as they gear up to play Kyrgyz Republic in the away match?
(Takes a long pause). It’s horrifying to miss an International match. (Takes a deep breath). Even though we have already qualified we need to carry on and end on a winning note. We are unbeaten in 12 International matches and should aim to top the group. That hasn’t happened in Indian Football for long. We need to set a new standard internationally.
What the update on your injury? When do we see you back in action?
The rehab is on and I have already started running and training with my team. I am getting involved and need to build my confidence.