Despite a narrow 0-1 loss at the hands of Qatar U-23 National Team on Monday, March 11, Head Coach Derrick Pereira praised his young India U-23 side for putting in a plucky display against the home side.
“I’m really proud of these boys, who put in an excellent performance. They believed in themselves and performed accordingly. They were being able to keep the ball for longer durations,” Pereira said.
Pereira further went on to praise his young charges for taking the initiative in the match and creating a flurry of chances against a strong Qatar side.
“We created more chances than them. But, they just got one chance and finished it. We created at least 5 chances in the first half, while a couple in the second half. In our box, we defended quite well too,” he added.
The coach further shared that they need to focus more on converting the chances. “We should keep our cool in front the opposition goal. In modern day football, we have to score because we can’t afford to defend throughout ninety minutes. Out of the chances that we created, three were really close opportunities and had we converted them, the result could have been very different.”
The team will reassemble in Goa on March 16 for a three-day camp before flying to Tashkent to lock horns with home side and reigning AFC U-23 champions Uzbekistan, followed by a match against Tajikistan at the Pakhtakor Central Stadium.