Fight to the finish, Bhutia tells team

The Indian captain was determined to keep up their never-say-die attitude as they get ready to play Myanmar in the AFC Challenge Cup semifinal.

updated: August 07, 2008 07:57 IST
  • Total Shares


Taking a firm aim at lifting the AFC Challenge Cup, inspirational India football team captain Baichung Bhutia said his team was determined to keep up their never-say-die attitude to emerge triumphant in the prestigious tournament.

Baichung said what had stood out for his team in this event has been its "great character" to fight till the end in the three matches they played so far and will have to keep it up in the semifinal and the final to emerge winners.

India take on Myanmar while DPR Korea play Tajikistan in the semifinals on Thursday of Asia's second tier inter-nation competition whose winners qualify for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

"We have shown great character and team spirit in the three matches, nobody gave up till the end. We have to keep up that never-say-die attitude, as this is such an important tournament. I don't need to say this, every player knows it," said Bhutia who scored a brace against formidable Turkmensitan on Sunday to see India through to the semifinals.

"We might not have played beautiful football under the conditions (of the ground) but we played effective football. I think that is important, it is not necessary that we play beautiful football all the time," he told PTI.

Baichung said from now onwards any of the four semifinalists can win the tournament and India can't take Myanmar lightly on Thursday.

"Myanmar are a good team, they are technically good and they play hard game. So, we can't take them lightly. We want to win but it will not be easy," he said.

Asked about the difficulties in playing on a slushy surfaces, Baichung said he was used to those conditions but felt scared of his teammates as most of them are not used to playing under such conditions.