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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Ghana aim to silence home crowd to ensure victory against India

Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin was all praise for India’s fighting spirit ahead of their final group stage match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Delhi.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 11, 2017 21:00 IST
Shayne Dias
Shayne Dias
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FIFA U-17 World Cup,Paa Kwesi Fabin,India vs Ghana
Ghana's Sadie Ibrahim, center, celebrates a goal during their FIFA U-17 World Cup match against Colombia.(AP)

Any dream that Indian fans may have harboured of making it through to the knockout stages of the FIFA U-17 World Cup were practically shattered when Juan Penaloza scored Colombia’s winning goal just a minute after Jeakson Singh scored India’s first ever goal in a FIFA tournament.

However, the fact that the India U-17 team put in a much-improved performance against Colombia was not lost on Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin, who praised the hosts’ performance on the eve of their game.

“India played very well against Colombia. They have improved since the first game against USA and we are sure they will play well in the final game as well,” said Fabin in an impromptu chat with reporters during his side’s final training session at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: India goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh makes an impact

“It is a crucial game for both sides and we both want to win. I think it will be a very exciting game tomorrow,” he added.

The New Delhi crowd have been extremely vocal in both of India’s previous games. Given that fans would like to see the side exit the tournament on a high, the noise level at the stadium is unlikely to go down when Ghana face off against the hosts.

This is something Fabin is aware of, and he stated that in order to negate the crowd, his side will look to do what neither USA nor Colombia managed against the hosts: get an early goal.

“We will look to score early to silence the home crowd,” he said with a smile.

However, Ghana aren’t without problems of their own and the coach correctly pointed out two major areas of concern: the presence of club scouts and their lack of killer instinct in front of goal.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Ghana’s Sadiq Ibrahim wants to emulate Eden Hazard at Chelsea

“Club scouts being here isn’t a good thing; it bothers us! This is because when players get to know that scouts are watching, they showboat and play to impress. That is a problem for us.”

But whilst Fabin cannot control the coming and going of scouts, Ghana’s problem of being gun-shy in front of goal is something he can work on.

He stated as much in the post-match press conference after the USA game. “We worked on goal scoring before this game. Maybe we need to work harder.”

And ahead of his team’s must-win Group A clash against India, Fabin echoed similar sentiments.

“We hope to improve our finishing ahead of the next game.”

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 21:00 IST