Coach of the Indian U-19 football team, Luis Norton de Matos, has said that his side is a work in progress. His statement comes after India was beaten 5-0 by Saudi Arabia in the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers. Reflecting on the poor performance by the hosts, Matos said, “We knew Saudi Arabia is very strong and the fact that they are hosts added to it. They played on a very high level and pressed well to squeeze us out. Their midfield was very composed as compared to ours and we failed to keep possession.”
“Our team is a work in progress and we have some players who are 2001 born in the camp. We are focusing on building for the future. Exposing these players to high-level international tournaments is very important in their development.”, he added.
On India’s gameplay during the encounter, Matos lamented and said, “We lost the ball in transition and were unable to keep our defensive discipline when Saudi Arabia attacked. We also failed to keep the ball and complete our passes, they having a physically stronger side out-muscled us in almost every duel.”
India faces Yemen in their next encounter. Analysing their strategy and gameplay Matos said, “It will be a tough clash against Yemen as they are a side which are very quick on the counter-attacks. We need to rectify our mistakes and concentrate on tomorrow’s match if we are to get a positive result. Yemen is a team which is on our level and we will search for a win against them. We believe that we can give Yemen a very stern fight.”