New Delhi, Aug 31 - India’s chief football coach Wim Koevermans was happy with his young defence that stood up to the task despite conceding an early goal in the second minute against Cameroon in the last group match of the Nehru Cup here on Friday.
Koeverman, however, warned his boys that it would be tough match Sunday when the both teams face each other in the title clash.
Cameroon scored the only goal of the match in the second minute but from there on India, which made five changes to its starting line-up, impressed and had their share of chances as well.
Koevarmans lauded the young Indian defence for its resilient, never give-up attitude.
“Today the defence played really well. I am proud of the boys… the way we defended. They were shocked early but the way they came back was commendable. The goal shouldn’t have happened but the boys played on. Slowly we got more of the game,” said the Dutchman.
Koevarmans was overall happy with the performance of the Indian team.
“It was an enjoyable match. The individual qualities of Cameroon would decide in some situations but we played very aggressive and won lot of balls. We didn’t kick the ball away but looked to keep it. I was disappointed with the penalty. It was a clear tackle but these things happen. Overall I am pleased. We are ready for the final,” he said.
Asked if he was happy with the bench strength, Kovermans said: “Wanted to rest some players and test some at this level. The boys are good enough to deliver. It is a good foundation for long-term preparation.”
The coach warned his boys to be ready for a tough test in Sunday’s final. “It will be a tough game on Sunday,” he said.
Cameroon coach Emmanuel Bosso was also pleased with his nine reserves.
“It was a simple match. It was an opportunity to play some players, who haven’t played in last three matches. Can’t tell them to go and win always. Told them to play and those who played showed they can also play,” he said.
Bosso said final will be a total ball game.
“Final is another matter. Preparations would be different and we will do our bet. They (India) are also preparing something bigger for the final,” he said.
The coach also said the Cameroon legend Roger Milla has lost his elder brother and will not attend the final.