Granatkin Memorial: India U19 to face Tajikistan in play-off decider

India U19 team will play Tajikistan U19 after it lost the play off match against Kyrgyz Republic of the Granatkin Memorial Tournament in Russia.

Floyd Pinto's side was one-man down in the first 10 minutes against Krygyz Republic.   -  AIFF Media

The India U-19 team will clash against Tajikistan in the 11-12th position play-off of the Granatkin Memorial Tournament in St. Petersburg Thursday.

Tajikistan lost to Armenia 0-3 in the other play-off match on Tuesday to set a date with India, which lost to the Kyrgyz Republic in the penalty shootout after going down to 10 men in the second minute of the match.

India coach Floyd Pinto rued the number of missed chances despite dominating the game against the Kyrgyz Republic.

“Obviously, we are not happy with the result (against the Kyrgyz Republic). We played almost the entire game with one man down. Still, we created more chances and had we been able to convert those, we could have finished the game within 90 minutes,” he said.

“We were very excited before the game and the boys stuck to the game plan. We dominated the possession and we have been doing that for the last three matches.”

Pinto reiterated that facing another Asian country in the tournament will be a bonus for the team before the Asian U19 Qualifiers.

“We are facing our second Asian opponent in the tournament and it’s a bonus for us. We are expecting an almost similar game like the Kyrgyz Republic. We want to dominate the possession and create more chances than our opponents,” he said.

“Once the strikers get the confidence of putting the ball in, the team will look much better in terms of results. They have been working really well and I hope they continue the good work against Tajikistan.”

Meanwhile, Ninthoi Meetei and Vikram Partap Singh will continue to sit out owing to their respective injuries, while Sumit Rathi is suspended for the Tajikistan game. Pinto didn’t hesitate to accept that the team missed Ninthoi and Vikram during the campaign.

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