India faces Russia in BRICS tourney

India opens its campaign at the BRICS U-17 football tournament against Russia on Wednesday. The inaugural match of the tournament will be played between Brazil and China.

Nicolai Adam..."All the four teams are strong and it will be a good exposure for the boys."   -  Prashant Nakwe

India would look for a positive start when it opens its campaign against Russia in the BRICS U-17 football tournament which commences on Wednesday at the GMC stadium here. The inaugural match will be played between Brazil and China. South Africa, the other team among the five nations, will arrive later on Tuesday.

The final is slated for October 15. India coach Nicolai Adam said except for a few minor injuries he has a full squad at his disposal for Wednesday’s match against Russia, which is a strong opponent to beat. In the recently-concluded AFC U-16 Championships held here, India failed to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Adam said the BRICS tournament would be a good exposure for the boys who have raised their game and did well in the AFC U-16 Championships.

“Although the team could not make it to the knock out round, on the whole the performance was good. It was a good experience for the boys and now that we are playing among the top four nations in BRICS tournament we are looking to improve further before we travel to Brazil to train and also play a tournament before the U-17 World Cup,” stated Adam.

“Russia is a strong side which has won all its three matches of the qualifying round of next year’s U-17 World Cup and we will have to play at our best to beat them. All the four teams are strong and it will be a good exposure for the boys,” Adam said.

India will be without Boris Thangjam who got his second yellow card in the match against Iran in the AFC U-16 Championships. “We have written to the AFC to consider his case as the second yellow card decision was too harsh and we are now awaiting for the reply,” said Adam.

Russian coach Dmitry Ulyanov said that his team has been playing together for the last two years and preparing to qualify for next year’s U-17 World Cup.

“Right now we have won all our three matches of the qualifying rounds. This tournament will be a good experience for our boys as we are playing against strong opponents like Brazil, China, South Africa and of course India, who will have all the home support. We will try hard to win this tournament,” stated Dmitry.