Win against Argentina proof we're moving in right direction, says Floyd Pinto

That the India U-20 football team beat Argentina despite playing nearly 40 minutes with 10 men made this win extra special.

India U-20 football team which beat Argentina U-20 in Spain yesterday.   -  Twitter @indianfootball

On Monday, Indian football fans woke up to the news of the national U-20 team registering a shock win over six-time World Cup winner Argentina in the ongoing COTIF Cup in Spain.

The Colts scored in each half through Deepak Tangri and Anwar Ali before Argentina pulled one back through Alan Marinelli. Despite the red card shown to Aniket Jadhav in the 51st minute, the Indian boys held on for a famous win.

WATCH | India U-20 stuns Argentina

Floyd Pinto, the 33-year-old who helped mastermind the victory, was a proud coach on the night. "It’s unbelievable! I am a very proud Indian today. This win is a testament to the efforts and belief of the AIFF in moving forward towards developing the youth of the country," he told AIFF after the match.

Pinto, who was recently appointed as the coach of the Indian Arrows, felt the result could prove to be a watershed moment in Indian football. "This victory will definitely earn Indian football more respect in the world of football. It opens up a window of opportunity to test ourselves against the best in the world on a regular basis," he said.

He added, "To play 40 minutes against Argentina with 10 men, double our lead and hold on to the lead to eventually win, needed every ounce of character and vocal support, both on and off the field."

Read: India stuns Argentina in U-20 COTIF Cup

India was winless in its three matches in the tournament with two losses and a draw before the fixture against Lionel Scaloni's boys. "The one thing missing from our continued development through this tournament were goals. I am really happy the boys adapted so quickly and effectively to the changes we made post our first game. I just couldn’t have asked for a better reaction.

"Deepak Tangri’s goal was one of a sheer determination while Anwar Ali’s free-kick was of the highest order. We wanted to put in a performance that would make people forget about our previous game against Venezuela U-20 and the boys managed to do that," Pinto said.

The former India U-16s, U-17s and U-19s coach heaped praise on the AIFF after the win. I would like to thank the General Secretary Kushal Das and Abhishek Yadav (AIFF technical committee) for their continued support throughout our preparation along with SAI. This is a victory for the coaching, administrative, the media staff and all the fans," said Pinto.

AIFF technical committee's Abhishek Yadav meets with the head of delegation from Argentina   -  AIFF Media

 

Pinto, who was assistant to Luis Norton Matos at the Arrows last season, felt the 3-0 loss to Mauritania forced him to alter the way his team should be set up against opponents of a higher quality.

"To achieve first a draw against current U-20 FIFA World Cup runner-up Venezuela and now beat Argentina goes to show the immense work put in to restructure the organization of the team and the flawless execution by the players in both games. The win today has given me the belief that with the right support we are moving in the right direction," he said.

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