Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 WC: India faces 'strong' Ghana challenge

GFX Jeakson Singh India U17 FIFA U-17 World Cup: We deserved a result v Colombia, says India's Jeakson Singh
Kristopher Love | 12 October, 2017, 10:39

The FIFA U-17 World Cup has taken India by storm, and it's no surprise that football buffs all over the country are kicked about the tournament. But his indomitable will brought him back into the Indian team for the U-17 World Cup. They can qualify as the third team even if they fail to beat Ghana by the required margin, but it will be a long shot for Portuguese coach Luis Norton De Matos' boys. A win against Colombia will be a morale booster for US before their clash in the next round and the coach would expect that his boys end the group stage on a high note. But irrespective of playing against Ghana, we shouldn't go into the match with a purely defensive mind set.

India midfielder Ninthoinganba Meetei, who looked to use the flanks well with his pace and agility was brought down by the physically stronger Colombian players easily. "We would have to be on our toes for the entirety of the match, if we are to secure a win", he added.

"However, the boys are ready for the challenge that will be thrown in front of them. We will give it our all and aim to create history once again". The 17-year-old has scored his team's only goal thus far in the tournament, which was enough to seal a victory over Colombia in their first match.

India were solid at the back against the South American side in the last match, but they were not always able to quickly transform their defence into attack as the coach would have liked. The pressure is on Colombia to defeat United States and ensure that they finish with six points. "The result does not matter because we will take pride in this moment and will learn from it only to become better". Considering the fact that this is the first time Team India is taking part in a FIFA World Cup (as host nation, it automatically qualified), the mood is evidently upbeat as passionate footie aficionados are fervently catching the games. Thanking the fans for their support, Sanjeev Stalin said, "We play for the fans, they are our everything and we thank them for the wonderful support that they have given us".

The hosts can mathematically reach the next round, but it will need a lot of factors to go right for them. "We deserved a result, and we tried our very best to get it, but in the process we learnt a huge lesson what worldwide football is all about", the 16-year-old Jeakson, who plays as a midfielder, said. To me, the team is a dark horse, but I'm proud to see them compete against teams that have had so many more advantages in terms of advanced training, equipment and exposure. Now we want to show we can win against them.