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Despite an unsuccessful run in the AFC U-22 Championship Qualifiers, the Dempo player is upbeat about India U-22's performance...

Arthur Papas' side did not qualify for the AFC U-22 Championship but his boys left a strong impression in the Asian sector with an impressive performance in the qualifiers, a 4-1 win over Turkmenistan before losing out 0-4 to Oman.

Romeo Fernandes scored a goal in the victory over the Turkmen and another in the 1-1 draw against UAE. Thereafter, India Colts went down 1-2 to Iraq and losing 4-0 to Oman after their perfect start to their campaign with a 5-2 win over Lebanon.

"I am very happy that I got an opportunity to play in the U-22 squad, especially this being my first tournament with India," said Romeo.

The coaches were notably impressed with the 20-year-old who revealed, "Coach (Papas) was asking me about my club contract but I told him that I am happy with Dempo."

Talking back about his experience with India U-22, Romeo continued, "Under Papas we have developed our stamina and adopted the strategy of ball possession.

"In one half, we spend at least 15-to-20 minutes holding the ball and we have also started employing the wings a lot more often in our attacks.

"Although short passes work better to increase our confidence on the field, we used to try testing the rival defense with occasional long balls."

The Goan also feels that there is a promising future for Indian football once they begin to gather a couple of wins. "Teams started respecting us after our first win. After our first win all other teams were talking about us."

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