The German praised his side’s resolve after they salvaged a point in a dramatic 3-3 draw with Saudi Arabia…
It seemed as though it would be a case of déjà vu for the Indian as they once again threw away a lead to trail 3-3 as they did against the United Arab Emirates in their first game. But, this time the hosts stole a point thanks to skipper Suresh Wangjam’s penalty with the last kick of the match and boss Nicolai Adam was still coming to terms with the dramatic conclusion to what was an enthralling contest.
“In general it is really difficult for me now to say something. I’m extremely proud of the boys. Something like this in my understanding has never happened before in India that a U-17 team got such support. I mean it was a spectacle and it’s really difficult for me to say something right now,” he said in his post-match interaction.
The point keeps India still in contention to make it to the quarterfinals and the scenes of fervour were certainly not lost on the Indian manager. “Komal (Thatal) our No.10 player came to me and said can we still qualify? I think yes. But, I said to him it doesn’t matter. Look what you have done. Look what you have created.”
“You have created a moment. You have created emotions. These 4,200 people, tomorrow’s Monday and they have to go to work. But I honestly think that they will talk about this game. That makes me extremely proud,” said the tactician”
India next face continental giants Iran and must beat them to stand a chance of making it out of the group, but Adam believes his side have what it takes to pick up their first win in the tournament.
On the other hand Saudi Arabia, who had lost 3-2 to Iran in their opener, once again saw victory slip from their grasp, but rather than rueing the dropped points Head Coach Mohammed Abdullah commended the spirit of his opposition. “I would like to congratulate the Indian team. We respected them before the game. They are a good team and they have good players. We scored three goals and we couldn’t score two more goals. It happens in football and we hope to win the next game.”
All is not lost though and a win against the UAE in their last game could still see the Saudis through. Understandably, Abdullah is focussed on getting the job done. “We could have easily won the game today but one point is still not bad. We need to win our game anyway. We win the next game and we qualify,” he said looking forward.
Report by Khel Now Correspondent Ravish Narvekar from Goa . A true Football enthusiast & a die hard Liverpool fan. Ravish also enjoys travelling & he’s an avid foodie.