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AFC U-16 Qualifiers: Indian football team gear up for Nepal challenge

The Indian football team will look to continue their winning run at the AFC U-16 qualifiers when they face Nepal in their second match.

football Updated: Sep 21, 2017 13:57 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Kathmandu
AFC U-16 Qualifiers,Indian football team,Indian U-16 football team
Indian U-16 football team are in good form after beating Palestine in their AFC U-16 qualifier.(AIFF)

After blowing away Palestine with a comprehensive 3-0 victory in the opening encounter, India will employ a cautious approach when they take on hosts Nepal in their AFC U-16 Qualifiers match on Thursday.

“There’s no room for complacency,” coach Bibiano Fernandes said.

“Nepal are a strong side and we know each other with both teams having played in the recently concluded U-15 SAFF Championship final,” he added.

“They will be backed by a partisan crowd and it will be a challenge for us. Everybody saw what we are capable of but we can’t afford to be complacent,” he reiterated.

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“We had an ideal start in the tournament but the target is far away. We aim to continue the winning momentum and prefer to take one match at a time,” he stated.

Bibiano also mentioned that India wouldn’t start as the favourites even after getting the better of their rivals twice in the recently concluded SAFF U-15 Championship.

“We won’t have any advantage over Nepal. Although we beat them twice recently, it won’t have any effect on tomorrow’s game and everyone should start afresh.”

Bibiano is also confident that the boys like the Palestine game can create quite a few opportunities.

“At times, we were shaky the other day but at the end of the game, we won the game convincingly. I have full faith in my squad who have created so many opportunities throughout the game.”

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Meanwhile, Nepalese coach Sunil Kumar Shrestha showed his utmost respect for the Indian side.

“India have been going through a good phase right now and they were clearly the deserving champions in the SAFF U-15 tournament,” Shrestha mentioned.

“We will try to play our natural football to spoil their party tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Nepal went down fighting by a solitary goal to Iraq in their first match of the Group D.

First Published: Sep 21, 2017 13:55 IST