The Portuguese coach felt the scoreline wasn’t a fair reflection of the game.
Though, the India U-17 national team went down to USA U-17 0-3 in their first match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium earlier in the evening, the Junior Colts produced a battling display in the entire match, while the fans did their best to support the home side and the head coach Luis Norton de Matos started the post-match media interaction by thanking the fans.
“Fantastic experience, thanks to the supporters. As I said yesterday, there’s a big gap but I think we proved our composition and conceded stupid goals. We started the game a little shy. It was very important to put some problems in transition. We could’ve done better in terms of the score, but they controlled the game in the first half. In the second half, their experience showed as we conceded. We lost possession poorly, but we didn’t lose focus and control. Komal, Anwar and Aniket came close. If it would’ve been 2-1, the players would’ve felt better.”
The 63-year-old was not happy with the scoreline as he said, “0-3 is a punishment for one, even after knowing that the US is better. I’m not happy with the result, but the players proved that with a little more experience they can do better.”
The Blues started the match with the defensive play in the first few minutes where the opponents were not given the space to break through the defence. The Portuguese coach said that it was their strategy to be organized.
“It wasn’t defensive, it was organized. We knew the USA wants to get goals in the first 20 minutes, but it was good to hold them back. It was big for them as well to play in front of 40,000 people. They’re a bit shy and slowly loosened up and put on their best display. The USA has played seven games in the last two months and this is the difference. Controlling emotions at this level is important. Their players never lost the control.”
The Indians had a few chances to score goals but individual errors restricted the scoring opportunities for them. de Matos was really unhappy with the wasted opportunities and said, “ I’m very unhappy that 50 minutes into the game, we couldn’t score the goal. The game would’ve changed if the goal would’ve happened. Anwar’s hit was crucial, as a goal making it 2-1 would’ve been great. The exposure would have been great,”
He further concluded saying, “Strongest point of this team is its collectiveness. Some players can get better, and I like the way the team was together and organized. I never say that it was easy, but I say that we’ll fight for it.”