Under-17 World Cup: India Face Colombia at 8pm Today
Colombia lost 1-0 to Ghana on the opening day of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Three days after becoming the first Indian team to complete in a FIFA World Cup event, the Indian Under-17 team will be looking to add another high, of possibly winning a match for their country, on Monday, 9 October, when they take on Colombia in their Group A FIFA U-17 World Cup match.
In the country's maiden appearance in any World Cup game, India got a taste of the cut-throat world of international football as they were blanked 3-0 by USA at a nearly packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
India showed heart but lacked in skill and quality against a much superior United States of America. And a similar task awaits the host nation tomorrow as well.
Midfield lynchpin Suresh Singh felt India would need to improve their final pass, but an improvement in department would not be enough against Colombia's all-round superiority.
The hosts would like to take some inspiration from World Cup debutants Niger, who kicked off their campaign in the tournament with a win over North Korea.
India tried but failed to prove that they belong to this league in a tournament that has produced players who would go on to become stars.
Coach Luis Norton de Matos was not happy with the outcome of the opening game, and he would be hoping for a better show against the South American giants.
Colombia are tough opponents and they possess the necessary elements to hurt us. We have to be on our toes all throughout and have to focus on the task at hand. They (Colombia) will also give us a tough physical fight but we are ready for it. We will play to win.Luis Norton de Matos, Coach- India
Against USA, India created chances and impressed with the skills, once also coming agonisingly close to scoring their first-ever World Cup goal. But USA was clearly the better of the two teams, dominating throughout the game in front of a strong home crowd egging them on.
Sikkim’s Komal Thatal, with his left and dribbling skills, created quite a few openings for India. He was also once guilty of wasting a chance in the second half when his lob was off target. His partner up front, Aniket Jadhav, also impressed with his game.
The defensive duo of Anwar Ali and Jitendra Singh tried their best to keep USA at bay, but the gulf was too much for India to bridge.
India lagged both physically and technically. But for some brilliant saves and fine anticipation by goalkeeper Moirangthem Deeraj Singh, India would have lost by a bigger margin.
Playing in their maiden FIFA tournament, India were outclassed by a side that was a few notches above the 'Boys in Blue'. India were way behind USA in terms of accuracy in passes, the first touch and positional sense.
India were pushed back in their own half most of the time in the face of incessant US attack. It is likely that the raids will continue against Columbia.
Outside the field of play, Matos will hope that a sizeable crowd will again turn up to cheer them on. Having tasted defeat against Ghana in their first game, Colombia will be desperate to open their account and will certainly go all out. They will look to score as many as possible to bag full points and improve their goal difference.
Colombia have so far competed in five editions of the tournament, finishing third on two occasions. They hustled and bustled their way to India with a last-ditch victory over continental rival Paraguay, but they will still be a handful for the Indians.
The first to land in India for the tournament, Colombia have acclimatised themselves with the conditions, though they started the tournament with a reverse.
India: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin, Hendry Antonay, Namit Deshpande, Suresh Singh, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Abhijit Sarkar, Komal Thatal, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Md. Shahjahan, Rahim Ali, Aniket Jadhav.
USA: Alex Budnik, Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin Garces, Sergino Dest, Christopher Gloster, Jaylin Lindsey, James Sands, Tyler Shaver, Akil Watts, George Acosta, Taylor Booth, Christopher Durkin, Blaine Ferri, Chris Goslin, Indiana Vassilev, Ayo Akinola, Andrew Carleton, Jacobo Reyes, Bryan Reynolds, Joshua Sargent, Tim Weah.
(With inputs from PTI)
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