After their opening day 2-3 loss against title contenders Uzbekistan, the India Under-16 boys go into their second Group D match against Syria in the AFC Under-16 Championship in Tehran knowing that ideally a win could help their cause to qualify for the quarterfinals, while a loss could mean the end of their hopes.
After the loss against Uzbekistan, the young Indians were a disappointed lot, when a point against a superior opponent was surely in their grasp.
Speaking about the next opponent head coach Colm Toal said, “Syria are a very tough side. They have some good individual players.”
“We are looking forward to another tough game. They are strong and aggressive who can play football at the same time. They need to be lauded for their fighting spirit – the manner in which they came back to equalise in injury time (against China),” Colm adds.
“We couldn’t prepare much because of the situation back home. I am confident about the ability of my boys but they haven’t been tested so far,” Syrian coach Muhannad Alfakeer said.
“We have played International Friendlies against Oman and Jordan prior to coming here,” he adds.
Meanwhile, looking back Colm Toal said, “It was disappointment against Uzbekistan. Having shown so much improvement since the last time we played them, it’s frustrating not to get a result which we deserved.”
“There’s hardly any recovery time for the players. The injuries sustained need to be healed and the physical reaction of the boys, whether the boys would be able to recover in time would play an important role,” he quips further.
“Our game is based on organisation and pressing. We do a lot of running around. The boys will have to be 100 percent fit,” Colm ended.
India have a tough task on hand against Syria tomorrow at the Rah Ahan Stadium in Tehran.
Published with permission from Arunava about Football.