Indian U-16 football team to compete in four-nation meet in Serbia
The Indian U-16 football team will compete in a four-nation tournament in Serbia from May 9-13, as part of preparations for the forthcoming AFC U-16 Championship in Malaysia.
India will face Jordan, Tajikistan and hosts Serbia in the four-nation tournament during the exposure trip.
This comes less than a month after the Indian U-16 national team played the USA and Norway. The Indian boys had earlier played in Qatar, Hong Kong and Spain.
The exposure tours are being planned to help the team prepare in the best possible fashion for the AFC U-16 Finals Malaysia 2018.
This is India’s third qualification to the AFC U-16 Finals in the last four editions.
India have been clubbed with current runners-up Iran, Vietnam and Indonesia in Group C in the Championship.
With both Jordan and Tajikistan having also qualified for the AFC U-16 Finals, head coach Bibiano Fernandes feels it’s a “marvellous opportunity before the real test”.
“This 4-nation tournament is an extremely helpful project for us before the real test in September. It will help us gauge ourselves where we stand against the likes of Jordan, Tajikistan and of course Serbia. It will help us assert the areas which we need to plug in,” he said.
Referring to his team’s matches against a strong USA and Norway, Bibiano stated the “boys have shown their mettle against them”.
“The USA and Norway are much-respected footballing nations across the world. But the boys played their hearts out. They look in good shape and are hungry to achieve more,” he added.
India suffered a 0-1 defeat to the USA before going down 1-3 to Norway in the Sportchain Friendlies.
Following is India’s fixtures in the U-16 four-nation tournament in Serbia:
May 9, 2018: India vs Jordan
May 11, 2018: Serbia vs India
May 13, 2018: Tajikistan vs India