/Soccer: Constantine quits as India coach after Asian Cup exit

Soccer: Constantine quits as India coach after Asian Cup exit


sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - January 10, 2019 India coach Stephen Constantine REUTERS/Satish Kumar">

Soccer Football – AFC Asian Cup – India v United Arab Emirates – Group A – Zayed sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – January 10, 2019 India coach Stephen Constantine REUTERS/Satish Kumar

(Reuters) – Stephen Constantine said he would be stepping down as India’s head coach after they were knocked out of the AFC Asian Cup following a 1-0 defeat by Bahrain in Sharjah on Monday.

Needing a draw to progress, India finished bottom of Group A after conceding an injury-time penalty which meant Bahrain leapfrogged them into third place.

“I’m stepping down after this game,” Constantine, who took charge of India for a second time in 2015, told reporters after the match.

“My objective from day one was to qualify for the Asian Cup. I’ve done that and I’m exceptionally proud of the players for everything they have given.

“I think my cycle has finished. I did what I was asked to and a little bit more and, after four years, it’s time to leave.”

Hosts United Arab Emirates topped the group ahead of Thailand following their 1-1 draw as both teams advanced to the knockout stage while Bahrain also progressed as one of four best third-placed teams.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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