We have a difficult group, admits Paraguay coach
Navi Mumbai, Oct 5 (PTI) Paraguay U17 coach Gustavo Morinigo today said that their Group (B) in the FIFA U-17 World Cup is a difficult one but he remains confident about his side's chances in the tournament.
Paraguay have been grouped with Mali, Turkey and New Zealand and open their campaign against dark horse and last edition’s runners-up, Mali, at the D Y Patil Stadium here tomorrow.
"We have a very difficult group which has Mali who are already the favourites. Turkey, which we have seen are working well with the coach and they too have the potential while New Zealand eliminated us in the last World Cup in Chile (in 2015),” the coach told reporters at the pre match press conference.
The Paraguay team trained at 2 am back home, especially to get the biological clock of the players adjusted.
"It was a beautiful experience we had there. It was already planned. There is a time difference of eight and half hours from Paraguay and India. The boys have done pretty well. They are accustomed now to the timing," Morinigo said.
Paraguay player Alexis Duarte, who plays a as a central defender, said the climate here was similar to his home nation.
"In Paraguay too it is like this. We have amazing heat there. And we are accustomed to what the climate is here (in India) and we are going to do our best tomorrow,” he said.
Mali coach Jonas Komla said the African team will take it game by game and their first aim would be to qualify for the knockouts.
"Everyone has their own aspect. First we will concentrate to get away from the pool (stage) and we are looking to the matches one after the other," the coach said.
He said they respect all the 24 teams who are playing the tournament and are not focusing on a particular side.
"We respect all the teams and are not looking at a particular team. All the 24 teams are exceptional and are good. We are not only concentrating on Paraguay, who have a good record, but are concentrating on all the teams,” Komla maintained.
According to the coach, Mali have prepared well ahead of the tournament and had won all the three friendly games they had played in the United Arab Emirates as a tune-up to the tournament.
"We have prepared well. Before coming to India, we were in UAE, we spent 20 days there and played three friendly matches with Ghana, UAE and USA, all of which we won, but that does not mean that we are complacent," he remarked.
The Mali coach said that the absence of last edition champions Nigeria will not put additional pressure on his team.
"We don’t feel the pressure and have a positive approach which is going to help us to do much better in the games. We have done well in the African Cup, so things are going well for us