Bibiano: 'We have got better as tournament progressed'

The team now needs at least a draw against table topper Indonesia to advance to the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championship in Kuala Lumpur.

Bibiano Fernandes believes the team has improved during the course of the AFC U16 Championships.

India played out a goalless draw against Iran in the AFC U-16 Championship in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. The team now needs at least a draw against table topper Indonesia to advance to the quarterfinals.

Talking about India's performance, the U-16 team head coach said: “We have got better and better as the tournament has progressed. The mistakes I had identified defensively in the game against Vietnam were not there against Iran.” India had last held Iran to a goalless draw in the Asia Cup Finals in 1984.

“We performed to the best of our abilities and though it would have been special if we would have won, we are happy with a point and aim on our next opponents,” Bibiano said.

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Bibiano has been successful in developing a bunch of raw talented youngsters into a cohesive unit.

“Each and every player is giving his cent percent in training and are playing as a single unit. We have the capacity to give our cent percent in each and this team has shown what dedication and hard work can do in football,” Bibiano said.

“It was difficult for us against Iran. Iran are one of the strongest teams to face in youth tournaments and we almost had a win against them.”

Defender Bikash Yumnam said “it won’t be easy against Indonesia“.

“We were very compact defensively against Iran. We know we had to play together as a unit. Iran are very strong in attack but we devised a plan to counter that,” he said.

“It won’t be easy against Indonesia. They have very swift forwards. We will stick to our strategy against them. We will give our best.”

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