Real Goals Lie Far Ahead as India Defeat Argentina at COTIF 2018
Indian U-20 en route to their historic victory against Argentina in COTIF 2018.
Indian U-20 en route to their historic victory against Argentina in COTIF 2018. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Real Goals Lie Far Ahead as India Defeat Argentina at COTIF 2018

The Indian U-20 football team on the night of 5 August registered a historic win against their Argentine counterparts.

Praises burst across social media for the young Indian colts who, despite being down to 10 men, showed grit and passion to register a historic 2-1 win against a footballing nation which has won two FIFA World Cups.

While it was a brilliant victory, it is also important to point out that it is only their first win in all the games that they have played this year.

(Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)

In the COTIF Cup itself, India had lost their first two outings to Murcia and Mauritania in a combined score of 0-5.

A case in point, Argentina having already qualified in the semis, decided to rest a couple of their in-form players – Alvaro Barreal and Adolfo Gaich.

Four of their players – playing in clubs like Manchester City, PSV, Atlanta United and Colon, were not given permission to join the tournament, given their pre-season duties.

Winning Against Weaker Squads of Better Teams

The critics of Indian football have one scathing condemnation at the tip of their tongues – ‘we only play weaker teams – B or C squads when we go abroad to play better footballing nations’.

And it is indeed true, because in the past, the AIFF has bragged about winning against European nations, only for it to be revealed later that the Indian team had played a representative team from Italy. The team included young players from the Lega Pro and Lega Pro 2, which occupy the third and fourth tiers in the Italian league system respectively.

However, Joy Bhattacharjya, the Project Director (LOC) for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, speaking exclusively to The Quint, believes there are huge positives to be taken from the U-20 side’s victory.

This one inspirational victory would inspire all. We can finally see those (U-17 WC experience) results coming through. The fact that we managed to lead against a very good side and then hold them to clinch the game is a sure shot sign that the things are definitely moving forward.
Joy Bhattacharjya

Eight players who participated in the U-17 FIFA World Cup were part of this U-20 side which beat Argentina.

The coach of the U-20 football team Floyd Pinto believes that this victory will definitely earn Indian football more respect in the world of football.

We need to play teams like them. Kudos to the boys for the hard work put in along with the staff.
Floyd Pinto

Tracking the Road Ahead

“I have seen these young kids so many times that it would break my heart,” narrates Joy Bhattacharjya, “but look now what these young fellows are achieving.”

The AIFF has to keep working on extensive exposure trips for the younger teams to make them adapt to the conditions outside, which will in turn give results as it did in the COTIF. The U-20 Indian team was better acquainted with the pace, the physicality and the understanding of the game.

While these victories against the heavy-weights will bring sheer joy and frenzy, but if not followed up, could be easily forgotten.

(With inputs from New Indian Express.)

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