Football is not always about results. Sometimes it is about winning the respect of the opponents and the masses. And while the masses cheered the Indian U-16 National Team off the pitch after their narrow 0-1 loss against Russia in the BRICS U-17 Tournament, the opponent, Russia, did not shy away from heaping praise on Nicolai Adam’s boys.
Speaking in the Official Post-match Press Conference, Russian Head Coach Dmitry Ulyanov said, “India were better and stronger than our opponents in the last three matches – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia and Moldova.”
“They (India) had a slow start and were shy in the first half, but they really made it difficult for us to play in the second half.”
Russia were reduced to 10 men in the 50th minute and the Russian attack failed to test Indian custodian Dheeraj Singh in the second half with India enjoying the lion’s share of possession.
“India made it mentally hard for us to play and the Indian boys were technically very good.”
“Our boys panicked a little and started to defend in their own half”, the Russian Coach informed.
It was no secret that the physically robust frame of the Russian opponents played an instrumental part in their win. “Russians are generally physically tall and broad. It is not uncommon.”
But could the result be different had Spartak Moscow’s Lopatin Daniil not scored an early goal which proved to be the difference between the two sides?
“It is hard to say. We played for a win and we got that, but the Indian Team made it really hard for us to play our natural game.”
“They ensured their competitiveness”, Dmitry added.
While India take on South Africa in their next clash on October 7, 2016, Russian entertain China on the same day.
(Report & Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)