FIFA U-17 World Cup: India struggle in 4 Nations Tournament but earn creditable draw against heavyweights Chile
With just two months to go for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the Indian Colts travelled to the Mexico to take part in the Torneo de 4 Naciones Tournament in Mexico City, as part of their preparations for the mega event. The other nations which featured in the tournament were Chile, Mexico, and India’s World Cup group stage opponents, Colombia.
Mexico hold the record for winning the third most number of matches in Under-17 World Cup history after Brazil and Nigeria. Chile are the current South American U17 Championship runners-up.
The games against three of the biggest teams in the Americas were going to be a yardstick of the Indian team's development under head coach Luis Norton de Matos and will be a pointer to what can be expected from the Colts at the forthcoming Under-17 World Cup.
The U-17 team finished the four-nation tournament in Mexico last night with an upbeat performance against one of the strongest youth teams in Latin America, Chile.
In an effort to build a robust team for the upcoming championship, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had also provided the Indian squad with an exposure trip to Europe, where the Colts faced Serbia, Macedonia and Benfica SL among other club and national teams.
We take a recap of the Indian team’s performance in the recently concluded Torneo de 4 Naciones Tournament.
The Colts had an energy-sapping tour of Europe after the appointment of head coach Norton de Matos in March this year. Driven by a sense of discipline instilled by their gaffer, the Colts entered the 4 Nations tournament as a better team with ample experience.
However, their World Cup preparation suffered a massive jolt as they fell to a 1-5 defeat at the hands of hosts, Mexico in their opening match. To add to their woes, the losing streak continued followed by a 0-3 loss against their Group A opponents.
Thus going into their final game last night against Chile, coach Norton de Matos would have been eager to attain an encouraging result.
Despite trailing the game 1-0, India managed to hold on to the scoreline as they wound up the tournament with Nongdamba Naorem finding the back of the net to pull the Blue Colts level.
Although the draw is supposed to offer up encouragement, the Portuguese coach could only deliver a mixed bag of results yet. With the World Cup just around the corner, the Indian Colts will have to start converting draws to victories if they aim to do big in the upcoming Championship.
Here are the results of India's matches at the tournament:
India 1-5 Mexico
India 0-3 Colombia
India 1-1 Chile