FIFA U-17 World Cup: India coach disappointed with USA result, happy with players
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FIFA U-17 World Cup: India coach disappointed with USA result, happy with players

India put up a gritty display in their debut match in the FIFA U-17 World Cup but they lost 3-0 to the United States of America in their Group A encounter but coach Luis Norton de Matos said that he was happy with the performance of the players.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 06, 2017 23:11 IST
Shayne Dias
Shayne Dias
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FIFA U-17 World Cup,India national football team,India vs United States of America
United States of America won their opening game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 3-0 against hosts India but coach Luis Norton de Matos expressed happiness with the gritty performance of the Indian players.(PTI)

India might have lost their opening FIFA U-17 World Cup game to USA 3-0, but the scoreline did no justice to the fighting performance put on by India.

Coach Luis Norton de Matos could not hide his frustration at losing the game in such a manner. “There is a big gap between us and USA. We conceded a stupid first goal and we couldn’t make that perfect last pass. Even our transitions could have been better,” said de Matos in the post-match press conference.

De Matos also believed that if India had managed to score before Andrew Carleton killed the game with the third goal, the result could have been different. “We needed to score after they went two up. We needed to make it 2-1 and fight after that. The third goal was a punishment for us.”

However, the coach did have positive things to say about the crowd and the spirit with which his players approached the game. “It was a fantastic ambiance. Thank you to the supporters for coming out, today was incredible.

“Players were a bit shy in the beginning, but World Cup is an intimidating experience. I am happy with the way they stayed organised, and tried to play. We deserved a goal for the way we played.

“Perhaps the second game will see us play with more confidence,” he added.

USA could have been better’

Even USA coach John Hackworth was quick to shower the Indian team and the fan support at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with praise.

“I thought India played really well, I’m very impressed with the team. Indian fans were amazing too; this was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever seen at a FIFA U-17 World Cup.

He did add that he believed his side could have been better. “India made it hard on us, especially in the beginning. We didn’t play great, but full credit to them.

“They were organised and there was no space to play through. Both their centre-backs played well, as was the goalkeeper.

He made several saves that kept India in the game. Durkin did well to get us that second goal: he doesn’t normally finish that well!”

Even goal scorer Chris Durkin said he couldn’t believe the kind of atmosphere he entered today.

“The atmosphere was amazing. I had a smile on my face hearing 40,000 people chanting,” said the defensive midfielder.

First Published: Oct 06, 2017 23:11 IST