India Chhetri Robin Singh Pakistan
India players celebrate their goal against PakistanAIFF

India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 1-0 in the first match of the International Friendly Series at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday, and following the victory, coach Wim Koevermans admitted his team had plenty of improvements to make ahead of the Asian Games.

Koevermans commented on the team's performance and applauded Pakistan's performance, after India were forced to play with ten men with Robin Singh sent off in the second half.

"I am overall happy with the game," Koevermans said. "Pakistan started better but we took it over and had a lot of possession. In fact, I had expected a better start in the second half but even then, Pakistan started better. I am glad that on Wednesday [in the second friendly], we can again re-start with 11 players."

However, Pakistan coach Muhammad Shamlan Al-Mubarak was certain that his team can defeat India in the next encounter as they have had a good look at the team's style of play.

"Now that we have had a look at India, we will strategise accordingly," he said. "We need to recover fast. There are just a couple of days in between left for the match on the 20th. The atmosphere was fine."

After the victory in their the sixth match in preparation for the Incheon Asian Games, Koevermans admitted that the team had plenty of improvements to make ahead of the big event.

"I like our wing play and we have our strengths there. But we need to improve on the final pass," he said.

"The presence of Robin up front is great. The boys came from different I-League Clubs where they play differently. We have worked hard and tried to mould all into the formation we like to play."

The Dutchman also gave his insights on the quality and requirement for the Indian team to give a better show in the upcoming Asian Games.

"I never like to pick out individual players. But I think one of our greatest quality is the manner in which we counter-attack," Koevermans added. "There's great balance on that front and we are working hard on it.

"Hopefully, that will also be one of our strengths when we play better and much stronger opposition in the Asian Games. But at the same time, we need to defend as a unit."