What happened when India U17 faced USA with the same core players 16 months ago
The FIFA U17 World Cup starts in earnest in a few hours, but the biggest attraction of the day is India's opening clash against the USA at 8 pm in what will be India's FIFA World Cup bow, across all age groups. However, both India and the US have a bit of competitive history and there are quite a few quirky connections between the two countries in the FIFA U17 World Cup scheme of things.
The India U17 players have been playing together for quite some time now, with the exceptions of a few, and when the Colts last faced a US side, the scorecard didn't make for a pleasant reading for Indian football fans.
It was only last year when 10 players from India's current 21-man FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 squad were part of the team that got a 4-0 shellacking from their American counterparts at the AIFF Youth Cup 2016.
While the composition of the Indian U17 team has changed drastically over the course of the past 16 months since that game, the core of 10 players is still there. Even the head coach for that game - Germany's Nicolai Adam - has been replaced by the Portuguese Luis Norton de Matos since.
Watch the highlights of the match here:
The 10 current Colts in that squad that lost 4-0 to the USA are: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Sanjeev Stalin, Ninthoinganba, Aniket Jadhav, Hendry Antonay, Boris Singh Thangjam, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Komal Thatal, Amarjit Singh Kiyam and Jitendra Singh. While there have been new additions to the squad in the months that followed the game, those 10 players will be eager to get one over the Young Stars and Stripes later today.
That aside, the Colts have also roped in Namit Deshpande and Sunny Dhaliwal through an overseas scouting program, hence there will be no shortage of players in the Indian team who will have the know-how of their American counterparts. India have grown as a team and given how big a stage the FIFA U17 World Cup is, it wouldn't be a surprise should the Colts stun their opponents today, although expecting a reverse result will be a bridge too far.