Sport

India set sights on Ghana upset at U-17 World Cup

India set sights on Ghana upset at U-17 World Cup

It was India's first ever goal in a Federation Internationale de Football Association tournament. "Usually people talk about strikers or those who score goals but in this case, it's the goalkeeper", Matos said.

But it will not be easy for them as Ghana are the most physical side in the group.

India are prepared for a fight when they face Ghana in their last group match of the ongoing Fifa Under-17 World Cup on Thursday.

This, though, will be the toughest challenge for the Indian colts yet. India has played well. "But Ghana have more players who will be able to decide the game, compared to Colombia", the Portuguese said, while also giving his home nation's example as a shining light for India to follow. India gave a good account of themselves against U.S. and nearly got the better of Colombia on Monday where the hosts eventually went down fighting 1-2 but won a million hearts due to their performance. In the overall context, the US were skillful but not strong. Singh provided many balls to the attackers in the Colombia game. These two teams gave India some leeway to work with. According to the format, the best four teams positioned third among six groups qualify.

T Jeakson lived the dream of scoring India's first goal in the World Cup Finals not even for a full minute. While they can't be tactically different - mentally, the team are in a very different mood compared to when the World Cup kicked off.

The Portuguese gaffer said the boys are highly motivated for Thursday's game despite the dire situation they find themselves in. Considering that goal difference will come into play, Ghana are not masking their intentions. "The result does not matter because we will take pride in this moment and will learn from it only to become better". Only quite literally. Captain Amarjit Kiyam and central defender Anwar Ali are both nursing injuries. "Their first match was not so good, but in the second match, they did very well".




Ghana like to play fast football, using the pacy flank players Sadiq Ibrahim and Aminu Mohammed. Fullbacks Rashid Al Hassan and Najeeb Yakubu are quick and support the attack efficiently. Captain Eric Ayiah is a unsafe customer up front.

But de Matos and his young troops will do everything they possibly can to prolong their stay in this competition. They have looked disjointed and lacked shape. I was jumping, so was the entire national team in Bengaluru. In the training, they are good but on field it's not coming along. India should also understand that after giving scare to a team like Colombia, which is No. 10 in the world, Ghana will certainly come up with a special strategy against them. This aspect proved crucial against Colombia as India came second-best in nearly all aerial duels even though de Matos fielded an XI which was considerably taller compared to the one against the USA.

Komal Thatal, Nongdamba Naorem and Aniket Jadhav - who have all impressed in bits - are likely to get a look-in while the backline might remain unchanged unless Ali is forced out. India's fans have been pleased with the showing so far - something which points to a performance above expectation, and there is a demand that Matos let his attackers loose from the off.

After suffering a heavy defeat against the United States of America and a narrow reverse against Colombia, a win against Ghana is a must if India want to see any chance of progressing through to the next round. However, one can be certain that they will give it their all to be available.

And De Matos is just stoking their aspirations.


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