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The Brazilian coach of the Islanders was disappointed with his side’s second consecutive defeat at the SAFF Championship…

With the heavy defeat against Maldives making big news back home, Claudio Roberto’s job could be under threat. He did nothing to assure that he shall be in the job in the coming weeks, stating, “If we don’t win, the coach always has a problem. It will be the (Sri Lanka Football Association’s) President’s decision. Whether it is the coach of Brazil, or Spain, it’s the same everywhere in the world.”

Sri Lanka recovered admirably from their first game thrashing by Maldives, to almost shock Afghanistan, before going on to lose 3-1.


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While the Lankans had a great first half, they could not manage the same energy levels in the second part of the game. When quizzed about why there was such a dip in performance, Roberto mentioned, “Basically we are here with young players and without much experience. Thus the second half performance.”

The coach though, also pointed out that Afghanistan were a far superior side, in FIFA rankings. He commented, “At the moment the Afghanistan squad is more superior to Sri Lanka. I think we had nine practice matches and of those we lost three. We had confidence in players and now again we have to go back and think of new methods.”

On being questioned on how he motivated his side after the poor performance against Maldives, the Brazilian stated, “I always motivate our players. With this second defeat, we have to motivate them even more and we will do that and we will face Bhutan, hoping to win.”

Roberto also blamed the poor preparation the team had in the build-up to the competition and the lack of infrastructure back home, for their lean showings in the tournament. He opined, “The problem is not here during the tournament, it began from our country. When we started practice, we had problems with ground, and there are many other problems (with infrastructure). And due to the rains for two to three weeks, we could not practice.”

“We had only 50 days practice and then we went to Thailand where we had some practice matches. We must improve the level of our league and only then the players' level will also go high. Then we will have a high quality of players to choose from,” he further added.

 

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