Aniket Yadav

FIFA U17 World Cup: What did India U17 Coach Matos promise ahead of facing Colombia?

[caption id="attachment_55998" align="aligncenter" width="580"]India U17 team at the training session today. | Image: The AIFF India U17 team at the training session today. | Image: The AIFF[/caption]

Suman Chakravorty and Sabyasachi Bagchi, New Delhi:
India U17 team to play with new hopes and spirit as the colts are determined to produce a positive display after a rigorous training session before the match day. Coach Matos trained his midfielders and forwards in an innovative way to brush up the "wall play" and one touch swift attacking moves by keeping "dummy human walls" at the Delhi University Rugby Ground today.

In the country's maiden appearance in any World Cup game, India got a taste of the cut-throat world of international football as they were blanked 3-0 by USA in the tournament's opening night at a nearly packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

India showed heart but lacked in skill and quality against a much superior United States of America. And a similar task awaits the host nation tomorrow as well.

Today India coach Luis Norton de Matos said, "“I would like to win. The boys are looking very focused and concentrated. We know that they'll put up a tough fight for us. We're ready for that,” he added. "I'm sure that they'll be fighting until the last second of the match. They're really focused and they'll fight tooth and nail to get a good result."

Coach Luis Norton de Matos was not happy with the outcome of the opening game, and he would be hoping that his players put up a better show against the South American giants.

"I've watched a lot of their videos. I watched the first 25 minutes of the first match as well. They'll impose a strong physical challenge for us,” Matos maintained. "We're well organised right now and we have to be apt on that to swing it in our way. We must play with our stronger points and I feel, the team-organisation is best right now."

"Colombia are tough opponents and they possess the necessary elements to hurt us. We have to be on our toes all throughout and have to focus on the task at hand. They (Colombia) will also give us a tough physical fight but we are ready for it. We will play to win," Matos said.

Against USA, the team showed sparks on occasions, but the Portuguese would want his players go beyond that tomorrow.

India did create chances and impressed with the skills, once also coming agonisingly close to scoring their first-ever World Cup goal. But USA was clearly the better of the two teams, dominating throughout the game in front of a strong home crowd egging them on.

Komal Thatal, caught the eyes with his dribbling skills in the training session as well.

Coach Matos said, "The players are confident and know what is expected from them. We can't make any mistake and we have to keep a good pressure on them throughout."

Playing in their maiden FIFA tournament, rank outsiders India were outclassed by a side that was a few notches above the 'Boys in Blue'.

Tomorrow will be a different day with a different opponent, but the raids are likely to continue. More or less, it is going to be the same against Colombia. Coach Matos was seen training with dummy walls and swift one touch play.

Outside the field of play, Matos will hope that a sizeable crowd will again turn up to cheer them on.

Having tasted defeat against Ghana in their first game, Colombia will be desperate to open their account and will certainly go all out. They will look to score as many as possible to bag full points and improve their goal difference.

Colombia have so far competed in five editions of the tournament, finishing third on two occasions. They hustled and bustled their way to India with a last-ditch victory over continental rival Paraguay, but they will still be a handful for the Indians.

The first to land in India for the tournament, Colombia have acclimatised themselves with the conditions, though they started the tournament with a reverse.

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