Indian U-19 football team are "work in progress": Coach Matos

ANI | Updated: Nov 05, 2017 17:40 IST

Dammam [Saudi Arabia]: After going down 5-0 against hosts Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the AFC U-19 Championship 2018 qualifiers here, coach Luis Norton de Matos showed confidence in the team, calling it a 'work in progress'.

Reflecting on the defeat, Matos said that Saudi Arabia was a strong team and had advantage of playing on home ground.

Matos said, "They played on a very high level yesterday and pressed very 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 said.

The Portuguese said that the Green Falcons also ruled out the Indian colts on fitness.

"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 (Saudi Arabia) having a physically stronger side out-muscled us in almost every duel," he asserted.

The Indian U-19 national team will now gear up to face Yemen here on Monday.

The coach labeled the clash against Yemen tough, saying they 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," Matos said.

He also said that his team will try to search win against them, believing his boys can give Yemen a very stern fight.

Matos also emphasised that a loss from Saudi Arabia will not affect the team morale but it will rather rectify the team's mistakes.

"We have a young team and a young team must learn what International football is like, mentally recouping is also part of that process. It is important to lose to identify the problems and rectify them for better output," the coach said. (ANI)