Gritty India lose to Colombia 2-1 in U-17 World Cup


It could have happened if Rahul Kannoly's first half stoppage time volley had not hit the post. "I think it will be a very exciting game tomorrow", he added.

With the expectations now rising, de Matos and his boys would be aiming to show that the performance against Colombia was no fluke and they were worthy competitors in this global showpiece, where they were automatic qualifiers as hosts.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium has been a mecca for Indian football fans ever since the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 kicked-off and the fans have cheered the young colts through every second of the matches. The top two teams from each group will book their berth in the last-16 while four other teams, who are ranked third in their pool, could also sneak into the next round. And, from the beginning he has been rightly saying that India have a small chance of winning each of the three group matches.

Just like Busquets, Jeakson is adept at breaking play and his qualities especially come to fore in transition - when the team moves from attack to defence or vice versa.

Asked about goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh who has received all -round praise for his heroics under the bar in the two matches so far, de Matos said, "I am lucky Dheeraj is in a very good condition at the moment".

Despite a 1-2 defeat against the South American side, India showed lot of character and matched their superior opponent neck-to-neck for most of the game. In Anwar's absence, Namit Deshpande, who started against Colombia, may pair with Jitendra Singh as central defenders.

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After suffering a heavy defeat against the US 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.

Boris Singh and Sanjeev Stalin are expected to be in the starting line-up as right and left full-backs respectively.

Jeakson Singh created history against Colombia when he became the first Indian goal-scorer in the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup - his bullet header left the Colombia custodian stunned and crashed into the back of the net.

"I've learnt a lot from Matos especially about playing in the midfield".

"Ghana will be a physical as well as a mental challenge for us".