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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Anwar Ali Miss Was Turning Point, Says India Coach

Team India suffered a heartbreaking 0-3 defeat at the hands of the USA in their opening match of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup

Pratik Sagar | News18 Sports

Updated:October 7, 2017, 8:27 AM IST
FIFA U-17 World Cup: Anwar Ali Miss Was Turning Point, Says India Coach
A file photo of Anwar Ali. (Twitter/Indian Football Team)

New Delhi: Team India suffered a heartbreaking 0-3 defeat at the hands of the USA in their opening match of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, here on Friday. With this defeat, the hosts are placed at the bottom of the Group A, after conceding two goals more that the other losing team of the day, Colombia.

Speaking to the media during the post match press conference, coach Luis Norton De Matos said that a glaring miss in the second half was the turning point for the home side.

"We had two possibilities in the second half, one through Komal Thatal and second through Anwar Ali. It was very important for us to score a goal during this phase of the game. Had Ali's shot gone in (which hit the cross bar) it would have been 1-2 and things could have been different in the last few minutes of the game," said De Matos during the post match press conference.

"However, we conceded the third goal right after the miss and it was a cruel punishment for us. Even if we were the second best, we would have liked to see us go for the draw," the coach added.

De Matos also emphasised on the fact that he was happy with the performance of the players but he cannot say the same about the result, which was too huge in the end.

"I am satisfied with the collective performance of the boys but definitely I am not happy with the result. There is a big gap between our team and others in our group. We conceded a stupid goal in the first half," said the India coach.

There were more than 45,000 people present at the venue to cheer the home side for this historic occasion. And the coach applauded the Indian fans for turning up in large numbers to supports the colts.

"The ambience was perfect. I need to thank the fans for turning up. This is the first time our players were playing in front of a crowd of 40,000 and that too, against a Team of the quality of USA,” said the Portuguese.

Meanwhile, USA coach John Hackworth echoed De Matos sentiments and lauded the Indian Team as well as the fans.

"I thought India played really well, I’m very impressed with the team. Indian fans were amazing too and this was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever seen at a FIFA U-17 World Cup," said Hackworth in the post match presser.

"India made it hard on us, especially in the beginning. We didn’t play great, but full credit to them. They were organised and there was no space to play through. Both their centre-backs played well and so did the goalkeeper. He made several saves that kept India in the game," Hackworth added.

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| Edited by: Madhav Agarwal
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