New Delhi : India u-22 football team played two practice matches against Delhi XI on 9th June and 12th June. As expected the Indian colts registered easy victories, but eye brows are raised about the fact that the Indian team is still playing against very weak opponents when they face start their AFC u-22 championship qualifiers campaign on 23rd June against Lebanon. Since, the u-22 head coach, Arthur Papas, was only had the players for less than weeks now, he is probably yet to find the right combinations and thus preferring local teams to fine tune the squad and its tactics.
1st game : 9th June, 2012
India u-22 played against Delhi XI and won 4-0. The goals were scored by Manandeep Singh, George Alwyn, Tirthankar Sarkar and Deepak Prakash. The coach said that in the short time the team is adapting well but there are several areas for improvement.
2nd game : 12th June, 2012
India u-22 again played against Delhi XI and won. The scoreline is a bit debatable. According to AIFF’s website the score was 4-0, however Arthur Papas updated in his facebook page that the score was 5-0. The scorers were – Holicharan Narzary (2), Pritam Kotal, Lalrindika Ralte and George Alwyn. The match was played in three halves of thirty minutes each as Head Coach stayed content in trying out different combinations. “The intention was to field as many players as possible,” Papas said after the match. “The boys have improved a lot in the nine days we have been together. We kept possession of the ball a lot better and at the same time we were able to switch from one end to the other with ease,” he added.
Striker Jeje Lapeklua came on in the last 30 minutes. “The idea was to keep Jeje on the field for at least 30 minutes. This was his first match in 6 months,” Papas commented.
The Indian squad leaves for Dubai for a seven-day exposure camp in Dubai on June 14 where they would be played two more practice matches.
– Much of the information and the photo has been taken from AIFF media release