U17 World Cup: Norton de Matos questions media's silence over penalty decision, hints at formation change

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The former Benfica youth development head opined that 2-1 would have been a fair result.

India U-17 World Cup squad’s coach Luis Norton de Matos made it clear that he didn’t agree with the referee’s decision of awarding a penalty to USA in the first match of the competition.

“I had a doubt when I saw it live. After coming back to the hotel, I have seen it at least ten times. Even now I was watching it on my mobile. I have still not been able to understand why that was given a penalty. But it’s a FIFA competition and I can’t talk against it,” he said in an interview to Bengali daily Ganashakti.

The coach also questioned the role of the Indian media in the incident. “Why did the Indian media not write anything about the decision?” he asked.

The Portuguese, in a different interview to another Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin, made it clear that he is going to ring in a few changes in the next match against Colombia.

“The team that will play against Colombia will be pretty different from the one that played against USA. There can also be a change in strategy as well.

“For example, I may start with a 4-5-1 instead of our usual 4-2-3-1,” he informed.

The coach also stressed that the learnings from the World Cup would enrich Indian football going forward.

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“I had seen the New Zealand squad once way back in 1997. In the World Cup, they were way above that level. There are hundreds of such examples. We have to keep this team together for a few years,” Matos said.

The veteran, who has contributed to the development of Renato Sanches, Bernardo Silva and Victor Lindelof, believes that Colombia will be a tougher challenge compared to USA, when asked whether a draw can be expected.

“How can I deny the reality? Colombia is even stronger than USA. They have played regular competitive matches against the likes of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina. I am not thinking about a draw for now. The focus will be on strengthening our defensive organization.”

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