U17 World Cup: Luis Norton de Matos: Important that India play without fear

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The Portuguese tactician stressed that his team lacks in competitive experience compared to their opponents.

India will face Colombia in their second FIFA U-17 World Cup match on Monday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi and head coach Luis Norton de Matos said the team is eager to earn a positive result.

"I would like to win but I used to say that if I can’t win, the best result is a draw. As a coach, I don’t like to lose. I know the difference and all the gaps existing but now we are going to fight for a result," he told reporters before the pre-match press conference.

Matos once again expressed his displeasure against the penalty decision that broke the deadlock in the team's 3-0 defeat against USA in the first match.

"My frustration, after I have analyzed the game with a calm mind, is about not scoring a goal seven minutes before the end. I am sure if the penalty didn’t happen, it would have become 2-1. We would have seven minutes after that and I know the mentality of these boys, they can fight till the end. They are very focused," he remarked.

The gaffer rued the individual mistakes that resulted in the goals, but stressed that technology would have had saved his team.

"The second goal was a big mistake from us and in football, most goals are results of mistakes. It also was a fantastic shot from Durkin. The first goal was not a mistake of our team, it was the mistake of the referee. If it was a game with the video review or a referee near the goal, it would never ever be a penalty."

According to him, the difference in experience between the two teams can be a decider but he also stressed that Indian colts are much confident now, having faced some star players in the USA line-up.

"Some of these players play in the first division in Colombia. But now we played against Sargent, who was the second highest goal-scorer in the U20 World Cup and it gives my boys the confidence to have played against the best. We have lost three points but have not lost hope and they are concentrated enough to earn a good result."

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India had lost 3-0 against the Latin American side in a four-nation tournament played in Mexico earlier this year. Matos opined that it would be an advantage for his team that the boys already know their opponents.

"I have seen many videos of Colombia and have also watched the first 25 minutes of their match. They made three similar moves down the left and that’s exactly the way they played against us in Mexico. They don’t score in normal way. They scored from two corners and another from dribbling inside the box. But we are very organized. Sometime, people say the team is defensive but that’s also important. You need to play according to your strength and for us, the biggest strength is our organization.

"It’s important that the boys play without fear and it's an advantage that they know the Colombian players," signed off the coach, who rated Ghana and Colombia to be of the same level, albeit with different playing styles.

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