The India U-17 manager said he was satisfied with the team’s performance after a narrow defeat against Iran…

India U-17 continued their journey in the Granatkin Cup with a 0-1 loss against Iran. The Junior Colts had lost 1-2 against Estonia in their previous outing. They now face a playoff for the botrttom two positions in the standings.

Speaking to the media after the match manager Nicolai Adam acknowledged that his team had problems in finishing off their chances, but said he was satisfied with their performance in the competition. Excerpts.

The Indian team visited the famous Museum of Art and Culture in St. Petersburg earlier.

– I am satisfied with performance of my team. In spite of our 0:8 loss to Russia in the first match, I think that the team is representing our country very well. We have problems on the finishing stage, and I guess that was the reason of today’s defeat.

– Why did you substitute the goalkeeper at the very end of the match?

– We were taking a free kick that time, and I hoped that our number 5 – Sanjeev Stalin – will equalize the score. If so, a penalty shoot-out would have happened to define the winner, and the goalkeeper I sent to the field was very good at making saves from penalties.

– Your team will take part in the U-17 World Cup in India this year. Can you consider today’s match a rehearsal for this tournament?

– No, because teams from Asia can’t face each other in the group stage.

– And what about the play-offs?

– That would be great! I guess Iran will also be glad to play against India in play-offs. But as far as I remember, no Asian team ever made it out of the group stage on the Youth World Cup! (the Head coach of team Iran enters the conversation at this moment, adding that Iran, for instance, made it out of the group twice – note by the editor).

– A traditional question about Boris. Today even the referees were addressing to him by name, not by the number…

– I don’t see anything special in this. In Germany, the country I was born in, it is essential that referees know all the names of players. By the way, about the referees. I always feel bad while complaining about them, as I do believe that they do the hardest work on the pitch! Five referees are working on our matches, and sometimes they might think it’s a big deal when a coach steps out of the coaching area, but sometimes they cannot notice when a player steps on the foot of the other player. There are too many rules in football! I don’t think that it is for the sake of football. In Germany, we don’t have referees working on the matches in some age groups like youth or kids football. And it works for itself, as it nurtures the sense of justice.