New Delhi : Although Eugeneson Lyngdoh was not a part of India’s 2019 AFC Asian Cup campaign in the UAE, his team-mates and assistant coach Shanmugam Venkatesh believes the midfielder was instrumental to India’s qualification for the continental championship.
‘Eugene,’ as he is fondly called in the dressing room, had become a regular in the India starting XI around four years back, playing a crucial role in the midfield as India topped Group A of the Round 3 of the Qualifiers. However, it was during this campaign that the playmaker picked up an injury and hence was not fit to be picked in the final squad that made it to the UAE for the main tournament.Lyngdoh will, however, now make a comeback from injury in the upcoming Indian Super League season with SC East Bengal.
“He had a huge contribution towards our qualification to AFC Asian Cup 2019. We missed him in UAE,” said former India captain Venkatesh while speaking on a live chat on AIFF TV. “His international career started late but on his debut, against Nepal in Guwahati, it didn’t look like he was playing his first game for India.” Current India captain Sunil Chhetri stated that Lyngdoh was a big reason why the team made it to the continental stage in the tournament
“The whole team and I missed him so much at the Asian Cup. He was an important reason why we qualified in the first case,” said Chhetri. Lyngdoh, on his part, said injury is the last thing that any player thinks of at any given point of time in his career.
“But when you get a bad injury, you require a lot of mental strength to keep going. I know I’ve lost a couple of years due to that injury, but now I am fit and ready to go out there. Now I have to maintain my fitness levels and be up for selection so that I can play,” said the 34-year-old.