Indians to face Colombia after losing first game against USA
New Delhi: The longingness to be noticed will again be the main driving force for India as they brace up to face another mighty opponents in Colombia in the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Monday.
In the country's maiden appearance in any World Cup game, India got a taste of the cut-throat world of international football as they were blanked 3-0 by USA in the tournament's opening night at a nearly packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
India showed heart but lacked in skill and quality against a much superior United States of America. And a similar task awaits the host nation on Monday as well.
Midfield lynchpin Suresh Singh felt India would need to improve their final pass, but an improvement in department would not be enough against Colombia's all-round superiority. The hosts would like to take some inspiration from Niger, another World Cup debutants, who kicked off their campaign in the tournament with a win over North Korea on Saturday.
If the African nation can, so can the Indians. Though it is easier said than done.
First up, India tried, but could not really show the world that they belong to this league in a tournament that has produced players who would go on to become stars.
Coach Luis Norton de Matos was not happy with the outcome of the opening game, and he would be hoping that his players put up a better show against the South American giants. Against USA, the team showed sparks on occasions, but the Portuguese would want his players go beyond that
India did create chances and impressed with the skills, once also coming agonisingly close to scoring their first-ever World Cup goal. But USA was clearly the better of the two teams, dominating throughout the game in front of a strong home crowd egging them on.
Komal Thatal, the striker with a blond hairdo, caught the eyes with his runs down the left and dribbling skills. Thatal, who hails from Bhaichung Bhutia's state Sikkim, created quite a few openings for India. Though he was once guilty of wasting a chance in the second half when his lob was off target.
His partner up front, Aniket Jadhav, also impressed with his game, and both have a bright future. The defensive duo of Anwar Ali and Jitendra Singh tried their best to keep USA at bay, but the gulf was too much for India to bridge.
Physically as well as technically, India lagged. But for some brilliant saves and fine anticipation by goalkeeper Moirangthem Deeraj Singh, India would have lost by a bigger margin. Playing in their maiden FIFA tournament, rank outsiders India were outclassed by a side that was a few notches above the 'Boys in Blue'.
India were way behind as far as the accuracy in passes, the first touch, positional sense were concerned against USA.
We are ready for them and will go for win, says India coach Matos
New Delhi: India coach Luis Norton de Matos said that they are ready for a physically and technically superior Colombia and will "fight till the last minute" in their Group A match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Monday. "Colombia are tough opponents and they possess the necessary elements to hurt us. We have to be on our toes all throughout and have to focus on the task at hand. They (Colombia) will also give us a tough physical fight but we are ready for it," Matos said on the eve of the team's second game. However, Matos said that his boys will give "Colombia a run for their money".