India U-19 football team will look to end their AFC Championship Qualifiers with a win as they face bottom-placed Turkmenistan in their last group match. Head coach Luis Norton de Matos praised his players for the good show in their drawn game against Yemen but said they will have to be more clinical in front of opposition goal against Turkmenistan.
"Turkmenistan are an aggressive side and they have lost both their matches so far. They will be playing for a win for their pride and we will be doing the same. We will be playing for a win and looking to end the qualifiers on a positive note," de Matos said.
De Matos coached the U-17 team that played in the FIFA World Cup which was held in India last month. The young colts were knocked out in the group stages but were exposed to a certain level of competition which influenced the boys to step up their game.
"It was a good performance against Yemen and it could have been perfect if we had won. We have to take our chances in the final third and score goals. We had three to four clear goal-scoring opportunities against Yemen and if we could have taken them we would have won. We need to buckle up and be clinical in front of goal," he added.
Asked about his strategy against Yemen, he said, "We wanted to dominate in the midfield and we were able to achieve that. We were also able to create goal scoring opportunities for our forwards. In defence, we stayed strong and played as a single unit which helped us to keep Yemen at bay."
He said India need to believe in the process of developing players.
"We are building a team for the future and if you look, against Yemen, nine U-17 players played and dominated at certain spells of the game. Imagine the potential that this team will have in the next two years. There is a long way to go, but we need to believe that results will not be visible immediately but will take some time to show.
(With PTI Inputs)