Chile may be down and virtually out having leaked seven goals from two matches but chief coach Hernan Caputto is still hopeful of a turnaround in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Three days after being routed by England, Chile handed Iraq their first victory of the tournament succumbing to a 0-3 loss to be virtually eliminated from the competition.
The former Argentine goalkeeper however was confident of an arithmetical turnaround of the team to make the last-16.
“There has been historical cases when a team wins big and advance after two losses. We would like to keep going further,” Caputto said at the post-match news conference last night.
He further refused to blame the players and accepted full responsibility for the heavy losses.
“Conceding seven goals in two matches is a really a hard and difficult moment for us. They (players) don’t understand what’s happening at this point as both matches were well lost.”
“The responsibility is on my shoulders. We will further discuss and talk to each player individually to motivate them,” Caputto said.
Mohammed Dawood once again shone for Iraq as he scored once on either side of the break to be their top scorer with three goals from two matches.
Chile had little chance with just one shot at the goal but Caputto hoped they would still give their best against two-time champions Mexico.
England with six points from two matches have sealed a pre-quarterfinal berth, while Iraq (four points) have strengthened their qualifying prospects.
Mexico, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Iraq, lie on third place while Chile are yet to open their account with a lopsided -7 goal difference.
The bottom two group F teams now shift base to Guwahati for their last league fixture on October 14.
“The next match will be everything for us. We will always keep our fighting spirit. We will have to keep fighting and hope to wake up against Mexico,” he said as they face a tough challenge ahead.
The ‘boys in red’ were the first among the four teams to arrive in Kolkata and Caputto said they loved every moment of their stay here in the football-loving city.
“I would like to convey my greetings to everyone here. We always had big support behind us, it was really overwhelming,” he signed off.
The Chileans, who got automatic qualification as hosts two years ago, had reached the pre-quarters on home soil in 2015.
Their tournament debut came at Japan 1993, when they took everyone by surprise in finishing third, their best performance to date.
Their last U-17 World Cup qualification had come 10 years ago but only to be knocked out in the group phase in Egypt.