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India U-19 coach Floyd Pinto: Boys are getting better with every match

India U-19 national team head coach Floyd Pinto. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)
India U-19 national team head coach Floyd Pinto. Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

Following a slender 1-0 win over hosts Vanuatu, Floyd Pinto’s India U-19 wards plundered four goals against New Caledonia U19 Team, who happened to represent the Oceanian nation in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India two years back, to set a final date with Tahiti – the winners from the other group.

Ahead of the 1/2 place play-off of the OFC Youth Development Tournament on Saturday (August 24), Pinto analysed many an aspect including the team’s quality finishing and building a ‘core team’ for the future in a chat with


Have you seen Tahiti’s games? How do they operate?

Tahiti are the most economical team in this tournament. They have an aggressive game style and are capable of varying their style of play from possession to the long ball when needed. It’s very difficult to break them down, I must say. They deserve to be in the final after beating Estonia. It will be a clash between two best teams in the tournament.

How satisfying was the 4-1 win against New Caledonia?

The boys are getting better with every match. The facts that we are controlling games both on & off the ball, making better decisions & looking more confident in executing our game plan are pleasing me regardless.

Moreover, the impact we had off the bench is something pleasing too before the big match against Tahiti. The players coming off the bench continued to create chances & even went on to score two more goals. Now, this team looks to be shaping up into a well-rounded squad of players.

Our finishing was clinical. Had you had any special session on it?

Yes, I mentioned after the last game that we wanted to make better decisions which would lead to better chances. We did just that & scored four goals. Credit goes to the boys as they are always keen to tune in the finer aspects of their game, they never stop learning.

(AIFF Media)