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FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: I should have made some early substitutions rues New Zealand boss, Danny Hay

New Zealand fought hard against Paraguay but could not stop them from winning 4-2.

News 10 Oct 2017, 01:17 IST

NZFC Final - Waitakere v Wellington
Danny Hay (left) played as a center-back in his playing days

In the fourth match of Group B, New Zealand and Paraguay played out an entertaining clash at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. Paraguay were the worthy winners on the night with the South American giants winning 4-2 and registering their second win on the trot.

It was a difficult defeat to take for the Kiwis, who were leading 2-1 at the halftime mark. New Zealand boss, Danny Hay, was understandably distraught by the result but at the same time, appeared hopeful for the future in his post-match press conference. 

Reflecting on a close fought game, which was in the balance till the 75th minute, Hay said, "It is a hard one to take.

"We made a couple of individual errors but this is football. I am proud of the attitude shown by the boys."

Explaining where it went wrong for the Kiwis, the boss further explained that they didn't retain the possession as much as they should have.

"We didn't maintain possession well and gave away the ball cheaply. Hugely disappointed to concede from a set piece and from my point of view, I should have made some early substitutions to bring on some fresh legs." 

Paraguay made a successful comeback to score three times in the final quarter of the game and Danny Hay was full of praise for his opposition.

"Paraguay have a great team ethic and at the same, are hard to break down.

"They are playing like a team which no one will like to play this World Cup," he added. 

New Zealand have one point from their first two games and now face a must-win match against Mali in New Delhi, which they to win in order to have any chance of advancing to the knockout stages.

On the challenges ahead, Hay explained that the team need to recuperate and freshen up before the next game.

"First of all, we need to regroup. The boys are fatigued by playing two games in 3 days and now we have to travel too.

"Mali are one of the contenders for the World Cup and, as has been the history of the African teams in the U-17 event, can go a long way.

"I'm sure the Malians will come at us all guns blazing and we just have to make sure that we are up for the challenge." 

Hay has been mightily impressed by the facilities in Mumbai and had even decided to come to the city earlier than any other team. On his love for the city, Hay said, "I love Mumbai!"

"The people have been extremely welcoming and the facilities along with the training pitches have been top notch.

"We would have loved to play our third match here itself, but have to respect the schedule. Now, the boys are looking forward to the experience in the capital."

Judging by his remarks, Hay has become another fan of the Aamchi Mumbai!

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