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Entering the FIFA U-17 World Cup as the underdogs, India coach Luis Norton de Matos on Thursday said his players can give strong teams “a run for their money” on their day.
India are clubbed with Colombia, USA and Ghana in Group A of the tournament starting October 6. “If we play to the best of our abilities, we can put a lot of good teams under pressure and give them a run for their money. On our day, we can put strong teams under pressure,” Matos said.
“Even if there is five percent chance of winning a match we will fight for the margin and try to extend it.” Matos was appointed head coach in March this year and in a short span of time, he has tried to build a team ready to fight the best, and the Portuguese is now optimistic.
“The players are very focused and are very proud to play for the country. All players are perhaps going to give their 200 percent and will play to the best of their abilities. It is evident that they are raring to go.”
The India U-17 side is currently training at the Conscient Football ground in Gurugram. “The boys know the meaning and sentiment of wearing a national team jersey in a mega tournament like the FIFA World Cup. The sentiment of wearing the national colors and giving
your all for the country runs deep in this team.
“In football anything is possible and we will take to the field keeping in mind that fact, to show the world that we belong on the same stage as them.”
The Indian Colts face USA on October 6, before locking horns against Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.