India U-17 beat Maharashtra XI 8-0, but “there were no losers”

On 21st December ’15, Maharashtra XI played hosts to India under-17 at Cooperage in an exhibition match. The full-time score-line of India under-17 8-0 Maharashtra XI does not depict the whole story or the idea behind conducting the match.

“There were no losers,” India under-17 coach Nicolai Adam said after the game. The statement speaks for itself, because this was a first-step in a long journey to reach the 2017 FIFA under-17 World Cup, which – as the host nation – is looked upon as giant step forward. India under-17s are scheduled to play a number of other such exhibition matches across the country after they return from their holiday period in January ’16.

Touring across India and playing against a sizable amount of games against state teams will ensure the team does not miss-out on an opportunity to scout a talented youngster, who could improvise the current batch of players.

The full-time score against Maharashtra XI would not mean much to the management, because in the wider scope it is the collective and individual performances that will matter. A host of talented youngsters were tasked to showcase their developing attributes on greater platform and against oppositions, whose were equipped with qualities they did not tackle in regularity.

Having pursued wins in Europe and the middle-cast before heading back to India for vacations, the India under-17s batch has been gathering experience, which will help them in the process of team development and individual growth; playing against a variety of different opponents in a number of varied climatic and geographical conditions and within the presence of huge or small crowds and attention.

In the game against Maharashtra XI in which they ran-out comfortable winners despite being “tired” (a word, which was timely used and rephrased in the manager’s post-match interview) and poor in the finishing department, Nicolai Adams took marks on a couple of Maharashtra XI players, he said after the match. A particular stand-out performer in Monday night’s win for India under-17s was Aman Chettri, who grabbed 4 goals in a fine performance against Maharashtra XI, who failed to win almost no one-on-one battles and struggled as a collective unit.

Komal Thatal was also amongst the scorers, who grabbed two goals; as both Aman Chettri and Komal Thatal gave their side a 6 without reply lead going into the interval. Aniket Anil Jadhav and Saurabh Meher added to the tally in the second-half as the game concluded at 8-0.

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