FIFA U-17 World Cup: India Colts to face Italian youth club on 19th May
Luis Norton de Matos' charges will also play in the Lazio Cup later this month.
The India Under-17s will take on an Italian youth team in a friendly match on 19th May. This game comes on the back of a Portuguese trip for Luis Norton de Matos’ team.
The Colts will take on the Italian team this Friday and the match will kick off at 9.30 PM Indian Standard Time.
India Under-17s lost five of their six matches on their Portuguese trip, a disappointing return in terms of results, but the overall experience will stand to benefit the Colts in their preparation for the upcoming Under-17 World Cup finals.
They were beaten 2–1 in their opening two matches against Vitoria de Setubal and Belenenses before drawing with Benfica 2–2 in the third match. Thereafter, the Colts lost their three remaining matches against Estoril, Benfica again and Sporting Lisbon. The 4–1 loss to Estoril and 3–0 defeat to Benfica were India’s worst defeats in the tour.
The Colts have now headed to Italy for a friendly. They will participate in the Lazio Cup, an international tournament for Under-17 teams of Italian provincial clubs and invitational teams. This year’s tournament will feature teams from Lazio, Fiorentina, Albania, Canada apart from the Indian Colts.
Friday’s friendly with Italy will provide good preparation for the Colts ahead of the Lazio Cup. The competition starts on the 23rd of May in Rome.
Luis Norton de Matos hasn’t tasted victory with the Colts ever since he joined up with the team, but he will expect his team to put up a better display in the upcoming friendly.
India’s World Cup campaign later this year will be the country’s first in a FIFA competition. The tournament starts on 6th October and will feature 24 teams, including the likes of Brazil and Spain. So, playing against a team from a football stronghold like Italy will stand to benefit the Colts for the grand stage of the World Cup.
Update: It was earlier reported that India would be facing Italy’s U-17 national team. However, subsequent reports emerged that Italy didn’t field its first team for the game, but a team comprised of youth players from Lega Pro and Lega Pro 2 clubs.