The India U-17 team got the better of their U-19 counterparts by a scoreline of 3-1 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday evening.
As Luis Norton de Matos' side are preparing for the biggest event to be staged in India with their first fixture against the United States' U-17 team in New Delhi on October 6, India U-19 coach Floyd Pinto believes that the Under-17 team have improved by leaps and bounds.
"They (U-17 team) have definitely improved. They look much stronger as a team after their Europe and other tours where they have recently played teams like Mexico, Chile and Columbia. Whenever two AIFF (All India Football Federation) teams play against each other, it's always going to be tough as we more or less have the same style of play given the way we have been training (over the years)," Pinto told Goal.
"The U-17 team were defending in their own half but they held the ball well and hit us on the counter. We had actually managed to create a lot of chances but we lacked the finishing which we have to work on," he explained.
Pinto also referred to their friendly against Bengaluru FC where the India U-19 team lost by a solitary goal last Friday as a good experience as they faced a near full-strength squad of the Indian Super League (ISL) outfit.
"We wanted to participate in the AWES (Association for Wellbeing of Elderly Sportspersons) Cup (in Goa) but since the final is supposed to be on September 17 and we will be leaving for the SAFF Championship before that (we could not)," the AIFF Academy head coach continued.
"As we stayed back in Bengaluru, we got a chance to play against Bengaluru FC's first team which was also a very good experience for us. This match was totally opposite (from the one against India U-17). Bengaluru were in our shoes and we were trying to defend in our half. So it's a good experience of two different types of games for us."
The Indian contingent will hold their last phase of preparations in Goa ahead of the 2017 SAFF U-18 Championship to be held between 18-27 September where they have been pitted with Bangladesh and hosts Bhutan. "We will be practicing at the astroturf ground in Fatorda as we will be playing on artificial turf in Bhutan as well," Pinto said.