CPD FOOTBALL | THE BLOG | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

India U-17 coach Luís Norton de Matos: This team has a fantastic future

India's first ever goalscorer in a FIFA World Cup, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, celebrating his goal against Colombia in the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)

After Jeakson Singh Thounaojam created history with the first ever goal scored by an Indian in a FIFA World Cup in their loss against Colombia, India U-17 head coach Luís Norton de Matos said that “this team has a fantastic future.”

“I’ll go to sleep with the sentiment that we gave our everything. It was a dream six months ago that our team will perform at the same level as a South American side. Tonight our team proved that we can play at this level”, he stated at the post-match press conference.

“I’m frustrated today with the result. All the teams are saying it’s difficult to play against us but we need to have more consistency in the final third of the pitch.”

With the teams locked goalless at half-time, India went down 1-2 to Colombia in their second World Cup encounter in front of a 47,000 strong crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The way India conceded immediately after equalizing was disappointing to the Portuguese, “If we scored a goal first, we had a big chance to win the game. The problem was the euphoria and happiness after the goal led to the players to losing their concentration. It was like a dream for them and it’s a pity that we lost concentration and we could have had a 1-1 draw which is a fantastic result.”

“The work the goalkeeping coach has achieved is incredible. We conceded mostly from set-pieces in Mexico but all three goal-keepers have improved. But Dheeraj has been fantastic and has a bright future”, lavishing some praise on the goalie.

Meanwhile Colombian coach, Orlando Restrepo, congratulated ‘the coach and Indian players for their will power’.

“The last fifteen minutes was stressful especially when India scored. It was really very intense and we had to make a lot of tactical adjustments with the way India played tonight. Both their center backs were unbelievable at their job and had a very successful game”, he added.

(AIFF Media)