2017 U17 World Cup

Fifa U-17 World Cup: Amarjit Kiyam and Nongdamba Noarem not fully fit, says coach De Matos

The team may see some fresh legs tomorrow, according to the Indian team’s Portuguese head coach.

Indian coach Luis Norton de Matos will take a call on captain Amarjit Kiyam and Nongdamba Naorem’s fitness tomorrow as the two players did not take part in full time this evening.

Speaking at team’s training at the Rugby Ground in New Delhi, the coach said the two would only take part in conditional training and he would like to assess their fitness before declaring them available, adding that all other players were being all fit for selection against Ghana.

The Portuguese also confirmed that he would make changes tomorrow as he looked to bring in fresh legs for India’s third match in 7 days.

“We’ve noticed that both teams are similar, Ghana and Colombia. We’ll take strong props from Colombia. Both teams are physical and I believe Ghana are the best team in the group.”

Ghana lost to the US 1-0 in their last match but created a host of chances against the Americans and could have easily won the game if not for wasteful finishing.

“The wingers are strong and can decide the game. They are technically very good. African teams at this level are always dream teams and they won the World Cup twice at this level,” said De Matos praising the Ghana team.

The Indian head coach also stressed on the importance of avoiding the mistakes that committed against the Colombians, “The full-backs of this team are very fast and they support the attack. In our last match, a player who started as a full-back scored two goals against us. He had only come top for their second goal.”

Concentration lapses were also key to India’s ‘softness’ at both ends. De Matos said that while they converted only one of six good chances in both their games, a mistake after the goal spelled doom for this team.

“After the goal, it’s a fantastic moment for the team. I understand their feelings but they played like they were in a dream. We lose our concentration and then conceded one on the counter.”

The coach also believed that Ghana will have more players capable of an attacking threat than the two teams they have faced so far. “Unlike Colombia, they have five or six good players to attack us.”

Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh was praised while the coach also pointed out that Jeakson Thounaojam had won almost all of his aerial duels. Namit Deshpande was also lauded for playing a good defensive game against the Colombians.

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