India U-17 coach Luis Norton de Matos declared on Thursday that the experience of hosting and playing the FIFA World Cup may prove precious for the future of Indian football after his team bowed out from the competition with a 4-0 heavy defeat to Ghana last night at the Jawaharlal Stadium in New Delhi. The Indian coach claimed that the level of football played in the U-17 FIFA World Cup is far more superior than the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL). Matos said that ISL teams go overseas to play against fourth division sides and lose heavily. Matos added that the team has learned valuable lessons from the first World Cup which will play a pivotal role when the boys will represent India on a senior level.

“They (India U-17 footballers) are as intelligent as others. This (FIFA U-17 World Cup) is better than I-League, this experience is stronger than I-League. Because I know very well when the ISL teams go to play against the fourth division sides in Spain, they lose,” Norton told reporters during the post-match press conference.
The India coach was full of praise for the young lads and said that he knew it will be difficult for his team to take on Ghana after playing challenging games with USA and Columbia. When asked about the Ghana defeat where they were decimated 4-0, Matos called Ghana the strongest team he faced in the group.

“After two hard games at this level I knew it would be complicated to play against Ghana. Ghana to me were the strongest team in the Group. They have very fast players, all of whom can decide the fate of the match,” Matos was quoted as saying. “We were physically very tired at the half time. When you are physically drained out, your brain does not work and you commit silly mistakes. I am very proud of my boys,” he added. “The difference between the two teams was too big,” he added. Luis Norton de Matos’side suffered a heavy 0-4 defeat to Ghana in their last Group A match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

First Published | 13 October 2017 7:30 AM
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