Air pollution high at U17 World Cup in India

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09 October, 2017

India coach Luis Norton De Matos on Friday said his side failed to cause the problems for their opponents in their first match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here.

This FIFA #World Cup is the first FIFA elite tournament which is being hosted in #India.

"[The opening game] might have been a totally different platform because it was the first time playing in front of such huge crowds with the team, so the players might have been a little nervous in the beginning of the match", he said.

And, quiet rightly so, the ball thudding against the horizontal left Matos shattered. "They're really focused and they'll fight tooth and nail to get a good result", he added.

USA, on the other hand, will have designs of making it out of the group stages and emphasis will be on notching a big win against India, perceived to be the weakest team in the group. "But, with some more experience, they can play better against teams with calibre", Matos said at the post-match press conference.

Speaking to the media after Saturday's practice session, Wangjam made it clear that even though they were boxed in their own half for long parts of the first period during their opening game against USA, the idea wasn't to keep defending for the 90 minutes. The US players again started to play a possessive game to retain their one-goal lead over hosting side.

"Of course there is this big problem of culture of not playing in such competitions". They are one of the favourites for the tournament. Even though he has said "every game is winnable", he clarified Thursday that the emphasis will be on defence and India would bank on counter-attacks to surprise the opposition.

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"This is the first time our players were playing in front of a crowd of 40,000 and that too, against a Team of the quality of U.S.", he added. The American players began with a possessive match. It's very hard to control emotions at this level.

Changing over, the Indian Colts attacked from the early minutes of the second half.

This year Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup is hosted by India, the tournament are scheduled from 6th till 28th October 2017.

On the other hand, United States of America coach, John Hackworth, heaped praise on the debutants, highlighting the efforts of Dheeraj, who made sure the final scoreline was not a disheartening one for the boys. I am very excited.

It was one-way traffic with the USA players passing the ball patiently among themselves.

They were the first to arrive in the country and coach Orlando Restrepo exuded confidence on boys' ability to put up a good show in the opening Group A contest.

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