After the defeat against host China by a slender margin, India U23 is determined to turn things around in its last group stage match of the Group G AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers against United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday.
A win for UAE will take it to the top of the group since it drew 1-1 in its first game against China, while India will have to win by a big margin to keep its hopes alive of qualifying as one of the top four second-placed teams in the competition.
“I’m very pleased with the way my players have reacted after the game against China PR. Their attitude is fantastic and their dedication and professionalism are unwavering. These are the things that matter the most, especially in the first training session after a defeat.
“The boys are hurt because of the loss and the manner in which we lost, but their attitude is extremely positive and they are raring to go again with the same spirit in the next game against UAE,” said India U23 Head Coach Clifford Miranda.
Sharing his thoughts on the upcoming opponent, Miranda said, “UAE is both technical and physical, but I think we are capable enough to handle any kind of physicality. We are also very strong, even though we may be inferior in terms of height. There is no deterrent or excuse for matching up against the UAE.”
When asked if there will be an attack-heavy approach to the last game, specifically because India will need to win big to give itself a chance to qualify for the final round of the competition, the former India player said he believed it’s a bit more complex than that.
“It’s an international game and we can’t just be thinking about scoring and leave openings that our opponents can capitalise on. The most important thing is to have a positive approach to go out and win the game, but win the game with caution. We will assess the match-up and be careful in our approach. Of course, we need to play to win, but we need to win by being practical.”
The match will kick off at the Dalian Sports Centre Stadium at 2 p.m. IST.
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