Showed we can fight against big teams: India coach Matos
New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) India chief coach Luis Norton de Matos said that his wards showed that they can compete against big teams as they went down fighting 1-2 to Colombia in a Group A encounter of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Monday.
Colombian right winger Juan Penaloza had put Colombia ahead in the 49th minute. But the hosts fought back and equalized in the 82nd minute, through Jeakson Thounaojam, who marked India’s first ever goal at a FIFA World Cup.
But Penaloza, who played as a right-back in their 0-1 loss to Ghana, scored his second goal of the night to quash India’s dreams.
Following the defeat, their second in a row, India are virtually out of the qualifying race for Round of 16.
“I am very proud of the team today. It was a fantastic game. I used to say that you always get a chance to win the game and today I felt that we could do that today. But they scored again and we lost the match in the end,” Matos said.
“But we showed that we can play at the same level of Colombia, one of the top South American teams. We gave a tough fight.”
The Portuguese tactician also conceded that his wards were euphoric after the goal – and it resulted in a lapse of concentration after which Colombia scored.
“We had some moments where we lost our concentration. And (when Colombia scored the winner) that was one of those moments. Our boys’ euphoria probably led to that,” he said.
Matos also said that his side also needs improvement in the offensive transitions. “We need to improve our consistency in our process of offensive transitions. That is one of the difficult things that need time.”
“Our strongest point is our organization. And individually, there are a lot of room of improvements.”
India next play Ghana in their next Group A match.