India vs Ghana, FIFA U-17 World Cup: India coach Matos wants to finish with a bang
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India vs Ghana, FIFA U-17 World Cup: India coach Matos wants to finish with a bang

India coach Luis Norton De Matos is confident of his side’s good show in their final Group A game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup against Ghana.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 12, 2017 10:18 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,India vs Ghana
Luis Norton De Matos-coached India will take on Ghana in the final Group A game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Thursday. ((Twitter/ M-News info‏ ))

When the Indian football team started their journey in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, hardly anyone thought that they will be able to match up to their superior opponents. But the youngsters have surprised everyone with their determination and coach Luis Norton De Matos believes his team will be looking to end the tournament with yet another positive performance when they face Ghana in their final Group A match on Thursday.

“We will go for nothing less than a win. We have shown the world that we belong on the same page as the other teams in our group and now we want to show that we can win against them. We will give it our all and aim to create history once again,” Matos said at the sidelines of India’s final practice session ahead of the game.

(Read | FIFA U-17 World Cup, India vs Ghana: Hosts pin hopes on fighting spirit)

The Amarjit Singh-led team were beaten 0-3 by USA in their first game, but they came back strongly against Colombia. Jeakson Singh became the first India to score at a FIFA tournament and although the team produced a tight defensive performance, the Latin American heavyweights were able to clinch a narrow win. Matos , however, was not disheartened by the results and he believes that the team has improved by leaps and bounds.

“The objective of the team against Ghana is to confirm our growth. We have improved over the last two matches and although Ghana are the stronger team, we want to finish the tournament on a high,” he said.

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

Matos was also quite excited with Portugal’s performance in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as Cristiano Ronaldo & Co secured their berth with a win over Switzerland. He congratulated the team on their achievement and asked India to follow his homeland’s youth system to develope the game in the country.

(Read | FIFA U-17 World Cup: France beat Japan to enter pre-quarterfinals)

“Portugal played really well and I am very happy that they have qualified for the World Cup. Back home, players are scouted at a very early age and they are nurtured in the various academies. That is something that India can learn from and if you ask me, the future looks really bright for Indian football,” he told the media.

The hosts will possibly miss out on the services of skipper Amarjit Singh and centre back Anwar Ali as both footballers missed the final practice due to slight injuries. Talking about their availability, Matos said, “Amarjit (Singh) and Anwar Ali are currently in conditional training and tomorrow, we will be able to take a call on whether they will play the game or not. However, there will surely be some fresh faces in the starting XI tomorrow.”

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 21:25 IST