The Indian hopes, as the fans know, are pinned on this round as only a result can push India into contention of the knockout stages.
The second round of matches kicks in on 9th October with 4 fixtures involving 8 teams of Group A and Group B. After the 2200 hour mark on Friday, USA and Paraguay topped their respective groups with fair performances against their rivals. The Group A and Group B matches are played in New Delhi and Navi Mumbai, respectively.
Starting with the former group, the first match is between Ghana and USA, while the other match is between the hosts and Colombia. Ghana are placed second in the group followed by Colombia in third and India in fourth.
India VS Colombia
This game will decide the fate of both these teams. Having lost their opening matches, both the teams will be looking to make the most of this opportunity. Columbia gambled with their formation with starting 3 at the back and were certainly punished at the 40-minute mark. They lost, despite attaining more possession than the Ghana internationals. Their attack transitioned from the left flank under the spearheading of Campaz.
India, on the other hand, will be looking to feed off the massive crowd that gave their all against the USA. Indian Manager Luis Norton De Matos will be a relieved man with the return of Boris Thangjam, as the right side was India’s weak territory against the USA. India need to go for the kill to keep their chances open for the knockout stages of the World Cup.
INDIAN GAMEPLAY & PREDICTED XI
We already have a glimpse as to how India is going to play. Predicting the De Matos is not a man who’d change too much, India is set to resort to the same tactics, something which was clearly predicted by Khel Now even before the team set foot on the World Cup dream. A winger dominated style, with Komal Thatal, Ninthoinganba Meetei and Nongdamba Naorem being the key. KP Rahul, after a strong display, may get to start on the right wing as well.
The Indian backline would not be tweaked much, and No. 1 Dheeraj only made his case stronger under the bar with a fine display. On the defensive wings, Stalin and Boris should give India the much-needed composure and defensive steel. Amarjit Singh Kiyam (captain) and Suresh Wangjam are the certain starters in the midfield, no questions asked. Suresh, if he continues a similar display, may be replaced by Md. Shahjahan or Lalengmawia mid-way through the second half.
India’s Predicted XI vs Colombia
Up ahead, India will go with 4 attackers, lined up as three behind the central No. 9. Kolhapur boy Aniket Jadhav may have got a lot of stick in some quarters for his performance, but he still remains Matos’ best bet up ahead in the absence of Shubham Sarangi and an injured-and-out Aman Chhetri. Behind him, Abhijit Sarkar will most probably be replaced by Nongdamba Naorem, who’ll continuously swap positions with ‘Indian Coutinho’ Komal Thatal.
The Right wing will be up for a dilemma for the Portuguese manager. KP Rahul operated much deeper than Meetei, but had his own attacking rise at times. Meetei, too, impressed a lot with a fluid skill set. Either of them could start, but Khel Now gives a better hand to Rahul.
Amarjit Singh Kiyam played too deep against the USA, and if India needs to dominate the midfield, the number 8 will have to rise a little higher and expect Jitendra and Anwar to put the ball at his fit to interlink it to either Komal or Meetei/Rahul. Stalin gave in an inspired defensive display in the first half of the game and was positionally brilliant, but a little more can be expected of India’s set-piece expect attacking-wise.
India’s last game: USA 3-0 India
Komal must be a little more direct and should use his box of trickery to outfox the opposition well. Alongside Naorem and Rahul (expected), he would try to exploit a little space that will come in eventually in the opposition’s game. Aniket, up top, should be doing a little better with the ball at his feet. He should face his own goal and be better at link-up play to ensure the involvement of the other attackers in the team. Being completely direct is not always the best option, even more, when you’re not the finest on-the-ball player in the team.
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Players’ and Coach’s zone
Suresh Singh Wangjam: “We are all set for the Colombia game and we’ll give our everything. We won’t disappoint you, we won’t disappoint India.”
Komal Thatal: “We will give it our very best as it is a do-or-die game for us if we have to remain in contention of progression.” More –> HERE!
Luis Norton De Matos: ““We will play to win. There is no other alternative for us. Every match we play is to win and if we win against Colombia we will be creating history,”
Amarjit Singh: “At the same time we have huge respect for Colombia. They are one of the best teams of their region. But this is a matter of survival for us and we will do everything to be in contention of progression.”
Rahul K.P: “We have already created history by becoming the first Indian team to participate in a FIFA World Cup, now we want to create history by becoming the first Indian team to win a match in the FIFA World Cup”
Colombia Manager Orlando Respreto: “We had the opportunity to play against India in Mexico before this tournament and we are quite aware of the things out here and we know they are good players.”
Head to Head
Colombia and India recently played a practice-friendly in North America. The Yellow side won 3-0. This, though, will be their first official face off.
Man to Watch
Colombia: Juan Penaloza and Jaminton Campaz are the vital aspects of the Colombian gameplay. They have a knack to score goals and produce chances at their ease.
What to expect from Colombia? Here’s the highlights of their last game against Ghana
Colombia: Mier (GK), Balanta, Gutierrez, Perea, Bentancur, Gomez, Penaloza, Mejia, Campaz, Palacio, Cortes.
India: Dheeraj, Boris, Jitendra, Anwar, Stalin, Amarjit, Suresh, Komal, Naorem, Meetei/Rahul, Aniket
TEN 2/TEN 3/DD Sports: 1700 hrs/ 5:00 pm IST and 2000hrs / 8:00 pm respectively. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW THE LIVE COMMENTARY OF THE GAME ON KHEL NOW.
Khel Now is willing to give out cool Folofo T-shirts in various sizes to the winners of a contest. Comment your scoreline predictions for the India and Colombia game below the article and five entries will win these cool tees. We’ll courier it on your address. The contest will continue in all Indian National team games during the World Cup, and you can win ’em all.
Cool, funky and a treat for football fanatics, will you get them all?
Comment your predictions below to win the same. Contest closes at 7:50 PM IST on Monday.
Ghana vs USA
This fixture is one of the most awaited face-off matches of the tournament. The black starlets, who are known for their physical play, were seen not exploiting their best weapon against Colombia. Ghana won 1-0 against the sub-par South American side. Ghana are a changed side in terms of their approach and style of play from their stint at the African Cup of Nations.
The Americans ran rampage against India winning 0-3 They dominated a major part of the game, so much that they registered nine shots on target. Despite their manager’s fear of foreign conditions, the team did exceptionally well against the home crowd.
The USA captain celebrated after scoring their first goal of this World Cup against India from the spot-kick
Head to Head
Ghana have won the two previous meetings between the teams scoring four goals.
Man to Watch
Eric Ayiah-Ghana: His goalscoring prowess is much cherished by their coach and by scoring four, he finished second on the goalscorers’ chart at AFCON. He also assisted the goal against Colombia.
Ghana Captain Ayiah assisted the only goal of the match against Colombia
USA: Carelton, Weah and Sargent proved their mettle during the game against India. They have the vision to score goals and assist whenever they’re given a little space to operate. Ferri, too, dominated the play through the hole by providing balls over the lines to the wings.
Ghana: Danlad, Yakubu, Yusif, Mensah, Al Hassan, Kudus, Toku, Iddriss, Sadiq, Ayiah, Aminu.
USA: Garces (GK), Lindsey, Durkin, Sands, Gloster, Carleton, Ferri, Goslin, Akinola, Sargent, Weah.
Match 3: Turkey U-17 vs Mali U-17
9th October, 17:00 IST.
DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai.
The game will be Live on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD from 5 pm. You can also watch it on the Sony Liv app and website.
Match 4: Paraguay U-17 vs New Zealand U-17
9th October, 20:00 IST.
DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai.
The game will be Live on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD from 8 pm. You can also watch it on the Sony Liv app and website.