Lessons learnt, India U-17s gear up for Uzbekistan test

PATHUM THANI, THAILAND: A solid start, a grave setback, and a determined comeback. Perhaps that is the best way to describe India’s opening Group D match of the AFC U-17 Asian Cup in brief.

Vietnam had their chances. India had theirs, perhaps a few more than their opponents. But Long Vu for Vietnam and Malemngamba Thokchom for India remained the only two scorers in a game that was tied 1-1. It may have left many desiring for more, but India head coach Bibiano Fernandes, in his distinctly calm and collective demeanour, summed it up with perfection.

“The scoreline favours everybody. And I mean all four teams in Group D (Uzbekistan held Japan to a 1-1 draw in Bangkok),” said Fernandes. “Of course, it could have been a different story if we got those three points, but we can take confidence from the display and come back stronger for the next two matches.”

Overall, starting the group stage with a point and a solid performance is something that the team can take stock of and build on.

“It was a good result for us in the end. Our boys played very well, and Vietnam also played a good game. Of course, we would have liked to get three points today, but it is what it is,” said Fernandes. “We’ll certainly take the one point from this match and move forward to the next one.”

While Vietnam enjoyed 59 per cent possession of the ball, it was India who created more chances (four), and the Blue Colts head coach takes a lot of heart from that.

“There were a lot of attacks from our end, but Vietnam also defended quite well in those opening exchanges,” he said. “It was a small defensive error on our part that led to their goal, but overall, I am happy with how the boys have done. One point puts us in a decent position, and we need to make sure we do well in the other two matches.

“Of course, there are things that we have learnt from this game. We will watch this one closely and try to improve upon it and take it from there. This was just the first game of the competition for us, and I am sure the boys will be more confident, more relaxed, and put in better performances here on.”

Next up for the Blue Colts are an Uzbekistan side that held the mighty defending champions Japan in their own opening match at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok. While Japan created a lot of chances, Uzbekistan weathered the storm before an 83rd minute equaliser by Amirbek Saidov cancelled out Yutaka Michiwaki’s 8th minute strike.

“Uzbekistan are an extremely strong side. We’ve played against them before, and we will use all the information available to us to help the team perform better in the next game,” said Fernandes. “Of course, they are a much-improved side from when we played them back in January. This will be a very different game, but I am confident the boys can work on the shortcomings and do well from there.”

Also ReadAfter six unforgettable seasons, FC Goa bid adieu to stalwart Edu Bedia

Also ReadThokchom’s dazzling left-footer fetches a point for India

SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…