India’s second game of the 2016 edition of the U-17 BRICS Football Cup against South Africa finished in predictable fashion as the Indian colts lost 1-0. What was disappointing was that India dominated much of the game, but had to make do with a narrow loss after spurning a whole host of chances.
Radzilani gave the South Africans the lead midway through the first half, scoring against the run of play in the 23rd minute. India applied pressure right until the end, but committed defending from the visitors gave them the win.
Here are five talking points from the game.
#1 India need a Plan B
For regular watchers of Indian football, this particular batch of U-17 talents has been a breath of fresh air. It’s a far cry from the days when we used to lump the ball forward to our talismanic striker up front, and hope and pray that he manages to do something with the ball. Oddly enough, there are plenty of fans on Twitter who found our Indian Colts style of play much more pleasant to the eyes than even some Indian Super League teams.
Yet, the problem with a style of play based on swift, short passes is that when the players are even slightly off, it results in the whole system falling apart. Make no mistake, India dominated the attacking phase of play for much of the game, but the ‘flow’ that we have come to expect from this side was missing, with hurried passes in the final third resulting in many promising moves breaking down.
There was a lack of a bonafide creator, a #10 who could provide the final ball. Nicolai Adam will have to work upon an alternate plan soon, if India are not to become a predictable one-dimensional team – precisely the point of tournaments like this, leading up to the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup.