Bibiano: Hope we continue this momentum till AFC U-16 Championship

Bibiano Fernandes, the India Under-16 football team's coach, says he is happy with the understanding the players have developed and hopes they continue in the same vein.

Bibiano Fernandes said that the India Under-16 boys put in the extra yard of hard work in training and that reflected in the result against Jordan- SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

Soon after India U-16 side’s 4-0 rout of host Jordan, coach Bibiano Fernandes said his boys are reaping the rewards of hard work in the WAFF Championship, and hoped to continue the momentum till the AFC Championship.

“I have never doubted this team’s ability. We always create goal-scoring chances but we had to work more on our finishing. The boys have put in that extra effort in the training and we have achieved the result against Jordan,” Bibiano said.

India had to wait until the 43rd minute, when Vikram opened the scoring. Later, the skipper added two quick goals (61st, 73rd) within 12 minutes to complete his hat-trick before Bekey Oram (84th) struck for the team’s fourth goal.

Read: Vikram's hat-trick propels India U-16 to a facile win over Jordan

Goalkeeper Niraj Kumar has put up a good show recently and asked about him, the coach said, “Niraj has always been a Goalkeeper with enormous quality and our goalkeeping coach Felix has been working relentlessly on his shortcomings. He has shown his capability during the training sessions to earn the place in the starting XI. It is always nice to have a healthy competition for the goalkeeping spot.

After registering a narrow 2-1 victory over Malaysia at its home turf in the final match of a two-match series, the Indian U-16 contingent flew to Amman to take part in the tournament alongside Iraq, Japan, Yemen and the hosts.

Asked about the chemistry between the attacking trio of Vikram, Rohit and Givson, Bibiano said, “I’m happy that my team has started to develop a good chemistry. They are able to read each other’s mind on the pitch and sometimes, they even communicate without any verbal communication, which is absolutely superb.

“I hope they continue this till the AFC U-16 Championship.”

“They did what’s expected from them against Jordan -- especially in the first half when Jordan were making some threatening moves. Even in the past, when we played against teams like Valencia CF, USA, Norway and DPR Korea, Serbia and others, the defenders came up with a gallant display.”

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