India bid goodbye to another foreign coach of the national football team, after Wim Koevermans announced his decision to step down from the role following a friendly loss to Palestine in Siliguri on Monday evening.
Koevermans, in his last match as India coach on the dugout, watched his team throw away a 2-1 halftime lead, allowing Palestine, the better team undoubtedly, to claw their way back and eventually fashion a 3-2 victory.
Goals from Sunil Chhetri and Francis Fernandes in the space of four minutes had give India the advantage, after Palestine had taken an early lead via Ashraf Alfawaghra.
However, Wridat Ahmed, in the 52nd minute, and Khader Abuhammad, twenty minutes later, ensured the mush higher-ranked Palestine would leave Siliguri with a victory.
Immediately after the match, in the post-match press conference, Koevermans, who was set to become the technical director, announced his decision to step down as India's football coach.
"This was my last match as the coach of the national team and I will not be taking up the post of AIFF's technical director for private reasons," he revealed.
Koeverman's contract with the AIFF expires at the end of October, and the Dutchman was clearly a favourite of the players, as they gave him a guard of honour at the end of the match.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my stint and stay in India," he was quoted as saying by the AIFF's official website. "It was a nice gesture by the players."
Koevermans said he has no regrets over his time as the coach of the Indian national team, insisting the team had made improvements during his tenure, even if that might not have revealed itself in terms of results.
India, recently, did not make an impression at the Asian Games, while they also lost a friendly match at home to rivals Pakistan.
"When I took charge I was told to change the style of play and there has been a huge improvement on that front," added Koevermans. "We created chances in every match that we played and played some good football. But that hasn't been enough.
"I never like losing. The boys stayed so much committed on the ground today," he added on India's performance against Palestine.
"But it was visible that they had better players in almost every position. We gave them a very tough game and could have avoided conceding the first and the third goals. But that's football."