Preview: India vs Nepal SAFF U16 Championship Final


In all the three matches the Indian U-16 National Team have won en route to the Final of the SAFF U-16 Championship against Nepal on Tuesday (July 30, 2013), development has nutmegged results.

No wonder Head Coach Goutam Ghosh is a happy man.

“From the first match against Sri Lanka where we stuck to our philosophy of Passing Football to win 4-1 to the Tie-Breaker against Afghanistan in the semifinal, the Boys have shown that they are maturing with every game,” he maintained.

“Keeping calm in pressure-cooker situations like the one in the semifinal, is also part of their learning process. This makes them strong mentally. We missed the first penalty and were on the backfoot right away. The way these boys soaked in the pressure and kept their nerves is laudable indeed,” Ghosh pointed out.

The U-16 colts in Blue, who are being represented by AIFF Regional Academy’s U-15 boys, have gone from strength to strength.

What should please not only the Head Coach Ghosh but also All India Football Federation (AIFF)’s Technical Director Robert Baan and Technical Director, Academies & Director of Coach Education Scott O’Donell, is that all of it has been from the development point of view.

From sticking to the philosophy of Passing Football to working on the mistakes committed on the pitch, the learning curve has been going in the right direction.

Against the hosts, who mauled Bangladesh 5-1 on their way to the summit clash, Ghosh is looking to make the most of ‘another match for his future-stars.’

“The Final gives me another opportunity rectify the mistakes we made in the last match. As I have maintained, Football is a game where you learn everyday. I am looking forward to the match as it gives me the chance to judge a lot of aspects,” the Coach said.

“The pressure of a Final is never easy. As a Footballer you need a lot of courage and mental strength to be able to take the field in a Title Clash. These 15 year-old Boys have shown in the semifinal that they are maturing. This will be another test of their nerves,” Ghosh pronounced further.

The Kick-off against Nepal at the Dashrath Stadium on Tuesday (July 30) is at 3.15pm.


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