AFC U16 Championship: Bibiano Fernandes believes Indian football has taken a big step

The India U16 coach expressed his complete pride at the performance put in by his wards in their 0-1 defeat to South Korea...

On a bittersweet night for the blue colts, coach Bibiano Fernandes had positive words to light up the mood of the camp. Despite crashing out of the AFC U-16 tournament, the team made an entire nation proud through a brilliant display of defensive discipline throughout the tournament.

Expressing pride at the performance of the team, Bibiano said, “Though we’re out of the competition, I’m very proud of my boys and the work which has been done back home in India."

“We have definitely made in impression here in the tournament and we have shown that we were not in the quarters by fluke. So I’m very proud that they played well knowing the quality of the Korean team.”

Hailing the second half performance of the young guns, Bibiano believed that everything went as per plan. Going a half without conceding against arguably the best team in the competition is impressive. Unfortunately, it wasn’t sustained until the end.

“In the second half, we played to our strengths which we like to do that is pressing. And we created real problems for the Korean team. In the first half we wanted to not concede any goal and we did a good job. In the second half we tried and tried our best. And at the end we put in a good performance,” the Goan explained.

The team lacked the energy to chase the equaliser after chasing the ball for most of the first half. However, this did not stop Bibiano from lauding the effort the boys put in.

“Yes, it was difficult. They were so good on the ball and we had to do all the running. In the end we put our best and I’m happy with the performance,” he stated.

The coach maintained that the team has laid a solid foundation to build on for the future.

“We’ve taken a big step after qualifying from the group stage after 16 years. And we definitely will be working on this in the future. We will be looking forward for this,” the beamingly proud India U16 coach concluded.