6/7/2018 9:32:23 PM (GMT+3)

Constantine sticks to his rotational policy as New Zealand beat India

Constantine sticks to his rotational policy as New Zealand beat India

MUMBAI: Indian captain Sunil Chhetri scored again in his third consecutive matches, but this time couldn’t help watch his side go down to New Zealand 2-1 at the Intercontinental Cup on a rain-soaked Thursday evening.

Chhetri had put the hosts into the lead in the 48th minute, but the White Caps restored parity through Andre Jong while substitute John Dyer notched up the winner in the 86th minute as both teams finished their league engagements on six points each.

For the Kiwis, Indian-origin Sarpreet Singh was the toast of their exciting win as the 19-year-old attacking midfielder led the attack with aplomb.  

India made seven changes to the starting line-up from their last match against Kenya, something coach Stephen Constantine had been criticised in the past for not sticking to a core team.

It also showed that the Indian side, who have qualified for next year’s Asian Cup in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is yet to have a good bench.

“We gave the juniors the opportunity to play. That’s why this tournament is good for them because we have to shuffle our ranks and test permutations,” said Constantine, who will have his task cut out at the continental competition in January.

The justification of playing against an African and the Kiwis wasn’t cleared as none of them are going to feature in the Asian tournament.

However, the globe-trotting coach in his second stint with the Indian team said the tournament is being use to prepare the squad.

“We are using the games to prepare for the continental tournament. Hence, we are always going to change the team and give juniors a chance to play,” he added.