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Rediff.com  » Sports » We were lucky, says Houghton

We were lucky, says Houghton

August 01, 2008 19:46 IST

India coach Bob Houghton conceded his team was lucky to earn a point against defending AFC Challenge Cup champions Tajikistan in Group A on Friday.

"In some ways you could say that we were lucky," said Englishman Houghton. "The early goal for Tajikistan surprised us and when we went into the attack we were vulnerable at the back.

"It wasn't the exact result that we were looking for, while Tajikistan were hoping to get a point from the game and they did it.

"It was a horrible day for the defenders and any mistake could have cost us another goal.

"The game was very difficult for us. We were playing on a rock hard pitch and that made it difficult for both sides to play well.

"We were planning for a certain scenario during the game after watching highlights from Tajikistan's earlier match. However, when we went into the game things were totally different for us."

Tajikistan assistant coach Mubin Ergashev was left to rue a mistake by custodian Tuychiev and the inability of his players to control the midfield.

"We lost two points as we were the better side," said Ergashev.

"It is our fault we lost these two points but we still have a match remaining and hopefully we will win it to qualify.

"The mistake from our goalkeeper cost us the entire game. Our defenders were also grouped in front of the goal and this mistake affected the spirits of the players.

"India played with an English style on the flanks and that was hard for our defenders as well. The key point for India was the changes that they made as they controlled the midfield through their substitutes."

In the final round of games on Sunday, India face Turkmenistan, while Tajikistan take on Afghanistan.