SAFF U-15 Championship: India takes on Nepal for shot at bronze

India will look to secure the bronze medal when it takes on Nepal in the third place match in the SAFF U-15 Championship on Saturday.

Coach Shuvendu Panda addresses his players ahead of their third-place SAFF U-15 Championship clash against Nepal.   -  AIFF MEDIA

After a tough loss against Bangladesh on Thursday, the Indian team will be raring to go against Nepal when the two sides clash in the third-place match of the SAFF U-15 Championship on Saturday at the ANFA Complex in Lalitpur, Nepal.

India came close to qualifying for the final after Harsh Patra unleashed a 17th minute 30-yarder in the semifinal clash. However, a 93rd-minute penalty by Bangladesh sent the match into a penalty shootout, where the latter won 4-2.

Ahead of the crunch game against Nepal, India coach Shuvendu Panda believes his side has moved on from the defeat against Bangladesh and is eager to put on a strong display against Nepal.

“We have already put the defeat against Bangladesh behind us. Now it’s all about our next game, and we are ready to face Nepal,” said Panda.

“Although it is hard to believe that we are not in the finals but the boys have accepted the defeat and look forward for the upcoming match,” he added.

Nepal has put in some strong performances and could pose a threat to India on Saturday. However, Panda believes that his team is strong enough to face its neighbours and earn the bronze medal.

“Undoubtedly, Nepal are a strong opponent but we are ready to face them. We want to achieve a positive outcome before we head home,” he said.