U17 World Cup: Suresh Wangjam - 'India can't only defend for 90 minutes'

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The youngster used to wear the captain's armband earlier this year.

Central midfielder Suresh Wangjam stressed that India have put the 3-0 loss against USA behind them as they get ready to face Colombia in the second group league match of FIFA U-17 World Cup.

"It’s part of the game. We have to forget the score-line. Our mind is now focused on the Colombia game," he said after India's training session at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.

The defender also shrugged off suggestions that the team initially was overawed by the occasion. 

"We were not nervous. We were very excited. Sunil Chhetri himself told us that he would give 15 years of his career to play at a World Cup. It was a big occasion, the first time we played in front of 45, or was it 60 thousand? This is a World Cup in India. We enjoyed the moment," he remarked.

The midfielder also stressed that the team needs to improve its supply-line to the forwards and can't rely on defending in their own half for the full 90 minutes

"You can’t defend for the full 90 minutes. When they attacked, our backline did well in getting back and defending. But we need to improve on our final pass. We have to make more passes to the striker. That is something we’re working on," he said.

Suresh informed the team's strategy was to keep the score-line goalless till the half-time and then try pouncing on counter-attacks, but the penalty turned out to be the turning point.

"Our plan was to sit back in our own half and wait for the counterattack. Our mindset was to keep it 0-0 at half-time or have a lead. But we conceded a penalty in the end, which was the turning point," he opined.

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