July 18, 2018

India set sights on Ghana upset at U-17 World Cup

12 October 2017, 11:46 | Anna Jefferson

FIFA U-17 World Cup, India vs Ghana: When And Where To Watch Live Coverage On TV, Live Streaming Online


On the eve of a Group "B" tie at the D.Y. Patil stadium here, chief coach John Hackworth told "We have prepared to win all games here". Singh provided many balls to the attackers in the Colombia game. India needs to beat Ghana by at least four goals and if the US beat Colombia by a big margin, the hosts can qualify for the pre-quarters as the second-placed side from the group. Against Colombia, we knew there were two players who were very good, so we knew how they would play. With USA hopefully beating Colombia, India will automatically jump to third spot on better goal difference. Coach Luis Norton de Matos strongly believes so.

In the 15th minute, forward Abhijit Sarkar got the first chance for India from the box, but the close-range shot was prevented by Colombian goalkeeper Kevin Mier.

It could have happened if Rahul Kannoly's first-half stoppage time volley had not hit the post.With the expectations now rising, de Matos and his boys would be aiming to show that the performance against Colombia was no fluke.

If India beat Ghana by three goals to nil, and United States of America beat Colombia by at least two-goal difference, the hosts team will finish the group second. Emotional outburst disturbed the team's shape at the back and Colombia's Juan Penaloza made India suffer nearly immediately. Ghana and Colombia are separated by a goal difference, with the South Americans having one better to its name.

With a almost non-existent youth development system in the country and hence a small pool of talented youngsters, de Matos built a team in seven months after he took charge in March. It was a great transition moment from us, winning it in defence to attacking. "It will be interesting to see how we play if we take the lead in the match", he says. Maintaining the shape in a well-organized formation has been pivotal to his tactics. The two fullbacks are also very fast and support in attack and they have No 18 [Mohammed Iddriss] who [runs the show]. "I think the people are proud of the players, I'm proud as a coach because they gave, not 100 per cent but, 200 per cent and tomorrow they are ready to die for the project", said Matos.

"Boris Singh coming back to the start XI was a big plus for India".

Beyond all expectation, it was a tournament to cherish for the Indian football team. During their two-year long preparatory phase, the team travelled to 18 countries and played more than 100 matches, including against the US and Colombia.

Any dream that Indian fans may have harboured of making it through to the knockout stages of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup were practically shattered when Juan Penaloza scored Colombia's winning goal just a minute after Jeakson Singh scored India's first ever goal in a Federation Internationale de Football Association tournament.

While zealous football follower Suman Sri can't stop showering praise on our desi lads, who are affectionately called the Indian Colts or Blue Cubs, he's also thrilled about getting to watch top blokes from different nations.

"Ghana are a very physical side and blessed with sublime skills of some individual players".

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