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FIFA U-17 World Cup: We will stick to our style vs Mali, says Spain coach

Spain will not look to change too many things when they face off against a physically superior Mali side in the semifinals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Wednesday

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 25, 2017 10:06 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
FIFA U-17 World Cup,Mali U-17 football team,Spain U-17 football team
Spain have been in prolific form at the FIFA U-17 World Cup since losing their opening game to Brazil.(AFP)

Spain U-17 coach Santiago Denia admitted that in their quest for their first ever FIFA U-17 World Cup title, Spain would have to improve all-round and yet maintain their style of play if they are to get past Mali in the semifinal at the DY Patil Stadium on Wednesday. (PREVIEW)

“We have to get better in defence and offence. We know that we are playing against a very physical team. We know that we cannot play a counter-attack game against them. What we need to do is play in the same way,” said Denia.

Mali, like most other African nations, are known for their physical dominance on the pitch, but Denia believes that their brawn will not be a disadvantage for his side as long as they stick to their strategies.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Familiarity with pitch will give us edge, says Mali coach

“Although they are physically strong or bigger than us, I don’t think that’s a disadvantage. We will not play a transition game, but stick to our style,” said Denia.

Denia also revealed that the Europeans have had ample time to acclimatise to the weather despite their worn out state after the first two matches in India.

“The weather is very different from Spain. After the second match, we got used to it and realised that we didn’t get tired like before,” he said.

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“We knew since the draw and had realised that if we progressed in the tournament we would have to play in this weather. The weather is something that we cannot control but we can control the preparation for this match,” said Denia, downplaying effect of the weather in deciding the game.

Spain, who come off a convincing win over Iran in the quarterfinals, had lost their first game to Brazil, which according to Denia served as a wake up call for him and his players.

“By losing against Brazil, we realised that we have to get better. That was part of the coach’s job to improve every detail. And we have to do that tomorrow again,” concluded Denia.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 10:02 IST