New Delhi: India’s U-17 football coach Luis Norton de Matos laments the lack of competition culture after the 3-0 loss to the United States in the Group A clash on Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
Speaking to media persons after the match, the coach said, “We don’t have a culture of competition. First time that these players played in front of 40,000 people. But US played well. US is a team who has played a lot of international games.”
Matos also thanked the fans for their support throughout the match. “Fantastic ambience. Thanks to the Indian supporters. As I said yesterday in the pre-match press conference, there’s a big gap between us and other teams in our group. We conceded a stupid goal in the first half from the penalty. Until the half time, it was possible to keep the result. Second half, we could see another goal. We never lost our focus but US played well in the end,” he said.
The coach added that if Anwar Ali’s shot hadn’t hit the post, the 2-1 scoreline could have been different. Sadly, its football and that didn’t happen. Hence, it became a big punishement for us. I am not happy with the result but m players have proved that with more experience, they can play well.
When asked if the team was defensive in the early quarter of the game, the coach dismissed the claims saying that they were more organised than being called defensive.
“We were organised not defensive. US play with four forwards and this timethey played with a strong force. Their past suggests they want to end the game early but our boys were resilient throuhout to contain their attack.
He expressed his satisfaction at how his team fared in the match. Despite the 3-0 scoreline, India were difficult to breakdown. “I am happy with India. They never lost control. For me, when Anwar shot the post, I would have liked the score at 2-1, but its football, the second game we will be more confident.”
India now play Colombia on Monday at the same venue in the capital and host Ghana on October 12.