Coach Bibiano Fernandes, on Sunday, said he is confident that India U-17 men's team will put up a good show against the Maldives in its first Group D match in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers at the Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Sports City Stadium in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, on October 4.
“We are confident that we can put out good performances in these qualifiers. It is a completely new batch of course, and these boys have not had as much exposure as the last two batches due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Bibiano said.
"But we have enough quality players to get the three points. They have come a long way since we began the camp in February,” he added.
The Maldives lost its first match 0-6 against Kuwait, but Bibiano urged his boys to be alert to avoid any disappointing result.
"We have seen Maldives in the SAFF U-17 Championship in Sri Lanka, and in yesterday’s match as well. They have lost by a big margin. Such results can often jolt the players into action, and we need to be on our guard against them,” he said.
The match between India and Maldives is scheduled on October 4 at 12 AM IST.
Group D has five teams, including Kuwait, host Saudi Arabia, and Myanmar. The points earned and goals (scored and conceded) against the fourth and fifth-placed teams will not be considered, while calculating the six best second-placed teams across the 10 groups, since Group H has only three teams.