The India coach said he was proud of his players and that the team has a bright future.
India U-17 put up a brilliant show before going down fighting 1-2 to Colombia U-17 in the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 Group A match played at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi on Monday evening. The hosts must now beat Ghana and hope that other results go their way to make it into the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams.
India coach Luis Norton de Matos gave the perfect reply to a question, “Is it possible to sleep tonight?” asked by a reporter. “Yes! I will sleep with the sentiment that my players played a fantastic game,”
“I am very proud to play at this level of competition and my boys really played well today. Indian players showed today that they can play as same as any strong opponents. I am frustrated because it is always possible to win the match and today at least a draw was possible,” He further added
When asked him about team’s strongest point, he said “We are very strong in the organisation; it is the strongest point of the team. It is quite difficult for us to score because of individual difficulties but we are improving every day.”
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India goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh played an important role today to restrict the South Americans from scoring more as he came up with some brilliant saves in the entire match and the Portuguese coach praised him along with all the teams.
“The Goalkeeper is an important part of the team and he has improved a lot after the Mexico trip. He played good today along with all the players. All three goalkeepers are good and working hard in every department,” the 63-year-old said.
The hosts missed two golden opportunities in the first session to take the lead when first Abhijit Sarkar’s shot in a one-on-one was nicely palmed by opponents’ keeper and later Rahul Kannoly was denied by the woodwork keeping it goalless in the first half. “We could have come out victorious if we could have converted the two chances in the first half,” Matos said
Matos also admitted that his players lost concentration after scoring India’s first goal in a FIFA competition as he concluded by saying, “After scoring the first goal it was like a dream and we lost our concentration because it was just a minute after scoring a goal. If it was after 4-5 minutes then the situation would have been different and it would have been a 1-1 draw. Though we have lost today, they have fantastic future coming ahead.”