Matos: Showed we can fight against big teams

India U-17 football team coach Luis Norton de Matos said his wards showed that they can compete against big teams as they went down fighting 2-1 to Colombia in a Group A encounter of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Monday.

“I am very proud of the team today. It was a fantastic game. I used to say that you always get a chance to win the game and today I felt that we could do that today,” said a proud Matos.   -  Special Arrangement

India U-17 football team coach Luis Norton de Matos said his wards showed that they can compete against big teams as they went down fighting 2-1 to Colombia in a Group A encounter of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Monday.

Colombian right winger Juan Penaloza had put Colombia ahead in the 49th minute. But the host fought back and equalised in the 82nd minute, through Jeakson Thounaojam, who marked India’s first ever goal at a FIFA World Cup.

But Penaloza, who played as a right back in its 1-0 loss to Ghana, scored his second goal of the night to quash India’s dreams.

Read: Colombia coach lauds India’s organised defence

Following the defeat, its second in a row, India is virtually out of the qualifying race for Round of 16.

“I am very proud of the team today. It was a fantastic game. I used to say that you always get a chance to win the game and today I felt that we could do that today. But they scored again and we lost the match in the end,” Matos said.

“But we showed that we can play at the same level of Colombia, one of the top South American teams. We gave a tough fight.”

The Portuguese tactician also conceded that his wards were euphoric after the goal — and it resulted in a lapse of concentration after which Colombia scored.

“We had some moments where we lost our concentration. And (when Colombia scored the winner) that was one of those moments. Our boys’ euphoria probably led to that,” he said.

Matos also said that his side also needs improvement in the offensive transitions. “We need to improve our consistency in our process of offensive transitions. That is one of the difficult things that need time.”

“Our strongest point is our organisation. And individually, there are a lot of room of improvements.”

India next plays Ghana in the final Group A fixture.