Luis Norton de Matos is using these friendlies to test some of the fringe players. (Source: File)
India’s under 17 football coach Luis Norton de Matos has said they are ready to face Colombia and will fight tooth and nail against the South American team on Monday.
Addressing the media, Matos said, “Colombia are tough opponents and they possess the necessary elements to hurt us. We have to be on our toes all throughout and have to focus on the task at hand. They (Colombia) will also give us a tough physical fight but we are ready for it. The team will fight to the last minute and play with confidence giving Colombia a run for their money.
“We will play to win. There is no other alternative for us. Every match we play is to win and if we win against Colombia we will be creating history. The eventual target is to secure progression to the next stage while taking one game at a time. The strength of the Indian team is their collective ability to play football as a combined unit and we bank on that factor to help us win against Colombia.”
“Against USA, we had a nervy start and the players were shy and could not play their game against a team of the quality of USA. It was their first match ever in a FIFA World Cup and emotions can be a little hard to control when you play in front of 55,000 people for the very first time,” Matos said.
Komal Thatal, who looked impressive in the first match also said that his side needs to recover and learn from the mistakes.
“Winning and losing is part of football. What matters is how well we recover and learn from our losses and continue to move forward. We will give it our very best as it is a do-or-die game for us if we have to remain in contention of progression.”
“Pressure is always there when you play football. We had pressure in the first game and we gave USA a very tough fight. It will be there against Colombia as well, but this time we are not looking to give a tough fight, we are looking to win.”, said Aniket Jadhav.
Skipper Amarjit Singh said his team would do everything to win tomorrow. At the same time we have huge respect for Colombia. They are one of the best teams of their region. But this is a matter of survival for us and we will do everything to be in contention of progression.”