Friday, 20 October, 2017

Hosts ready to move forward after opening defeat

The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 trophy. Image courtesy Twitter The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 trophy. Image courtesy Twitter
Angelica Greene | 09 October, 2017, 00:38

The seasoned football official and politician, who runs for the Nationalist Congress Party, has been invited by the FIFA Council to join its session at the end of the month in Kolkata as the U-17 World Cup culminates with the final at the Salt Lake Stadium. Players know very well what they will find tomorrow.

India coach Luis Norton De Matos on Friday said his side failed to cause the problems for their opponents in their first match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here. The game ended with a 0-3 win for the US.

The first to land in India for the tournament, Colombia have acclimatised themselves with the conditions, though they started the tournament with a reverse. "The Indian goalkeeper and the two centrebacks were exceptional".

Debutants India have been placed in Group A along side Colombia, two-time winners Ghana and the US.

Ghana, two-time champions at the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup in 1991 and 1995, are looking to end their 22-year trophy drought in a tricky group. But now we played against Sargent, who was the second highest goal-scorer in the U20 World Cup and it gives my boys the confidence to have played against the best.

For 21 members of the Indian squad, it will be a small but significant step in their careers but for an expectant nation which has never fielded a team in a football World Cup, it will be a giant leap towards realising its dream of competing in the senior World Cup.

The United States should have had its third in the 61 minute when Carleton hit a lovely pass down the right side for Ayo Akinola who had only to the keeper to beat but hit a very poor chip with his attempt. Americans came back in their trademark style by attempting to make it three in the counter attack.

While India struggled to piece together three-four passes while going forward, they created a attractive move at the fag end of the half. After hitting the post, the US collected the ball and sprung forward.

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"The second goal was a big mistake from us and in football, most goals are results of mistakes".

As good as Carleton was, Goslin was the player of the game.

The Kiwis grew into the match after going behind and their goal came just before the hour mark when Elijah Just took a quick free-kick and found Max Mata alone in the box. With better finishing, this game would have been over quickly.

The second half started with the Indian striker kicking off the ball.

"USA played seven worldwide games in the last two months as part of preparations". But my job as a coach is to prepare this team well for the games ahead.

All of the roster plays domestically in Colombia but some players can use this tournament to get exposure and move on to Europe or other South American teams.

Having lost their first game 1-0 to pre-tournament favourites Ghana, Colombia are now second from bottom with a negative goal difference.

Host nation India will be participating in their first World Cup ever in any age group. He should have had more but final passing and field vision was lacking to either spot him making unsafe runs or completing passes to him. "We then made adjustments at half time, which gave us more space to play", Hackworth said. India's spirits were crushed when United States scored their third on the counter right after the agonising miss.

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