Despite proclaiming his team’s readiness to “face anyone”, India coach Luis Norton de Matos admits they will play as underdogs when the 2017 Fifa Under-17 World Cup opens on Friday.
The Indian Colts are set for their tournament debut at a Fifa competition having qualified as hosts of the competition.
Drawn in Group A, predictably, the Asians will make their bow against 1999 semi-finalists the USA at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, before taking on two-time champions Ghana and two-time semi-finalists Colombia on October 9 and 12 respectively.
“Against India, other teams in the group are favourites,” de Matos said, as reported by Sportstar Live.
“We will have to stay organized and execute our plans well to get some good results.
“USA, Columbia and Ghana are all favourites [against India]. Our boys have trained hard and are ready to give their best.
“They all are eager to make the opportunity count. I am sure the experience gained from playing this competition will help these players in times to come.”
At a four-nation tournament in August, India lost 5-1 and 3-0 to Mexico and Colombia respectively and held Chile to a 1-1 draw.
The Colts also held Macedonia to a goalless draw and beat Mauritius 3-0 in friendly fixtures.