Floyd Pinto: India needs to step up against Sri Lanka

India needs a draw against Sri Lanka in its last group league match to qualify to the semifinal of the SAFF U-18 Championship.

Floyd Pinto instructing India U-18 team.   -  AIFF Media

India U-18 coach Floyd Pinto said that his team “needs to step up their game” from the last match against Bangladesh in the SAFF U-18 Championship, which ended goalless.

India is slated to take on Sri Lanka in the last group league match wherein it needs a draw to qualify for the semifinals.

“Looking back at our last match, we are not happy the manner we kept the ball. We have been working a lot on keeping the ball and constructing attacks. We need to show confidence against oppositions who defend deeper and need to have the confidence to play the ball much better,” Floyd said.

“I am sure the boys will improve against Sri Lanka. They are capable of playing much better football. We need to create chances and get the goals. The goals are crucial in our quest to qualify for the semis,” he added.

Goalkepeer Prabshukhan Singh Gill, who was hospitalised courtesy a “nasty head injury,” is stable. “All the reports are normal. But as it’s a head injury, we need to keep him under our observation for the next 48 hours. We look forward to him playing a part in the later stages of the Championship,” Floyd informed.

Floyd said Sri Lanka, which lost 0-3 in its opening match, “played a good game of football.”

“They tried to keep the ball, much unlike the opposition who preferred to kick it long. They were down by an early goal and had their chances and should have pulled it back post the half-time,” he said. “They created chances. They have some good dribblers, and nippy players. We cannot ever take them lightly.”

“At the same time if we can keep better possession of the ball and construct attacks the manner we have been planning to, we can nullify them.”

The match against Sri Lanka will be played on September 25 at 2:45pm IST. The game be streamed live streamed on MyCujoo TV.

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