Thailand game a mental test for U-16 team: coach Bibiano

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New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) After the Indian Under-16 football team came from two goals down to play out a 2-2 draw against Bangkok Glass FC U-17 in Thailand, head coach Bibiano Fernandes labelled the performance as a ‘brave’ one.

“It was a show of immense determination and courage on display with a never-give-up attitude,” Bibiano said.

“These are the kind of performances that helps us to believe in ourselves. The attitude of the boys was extraordinary and they kept pushing for more goals even with time running out,” he added.

The Indian boys had trailed much of the match against their Thai opponents but scored in the 83rd and 86th minute to end the match 2-2. The Colts however had an opportunity to win the match in the dying minutes but the opposition custodian pulled off a blinder to deny them.

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The U-16 team will be facing Thailand U-16 next on Friday. The colts had earlier faced Thailand in the Four-Nation tournament in China and lost 1-3, courtesy two late goals.

“We played them in China recently and it won’t be easy to play them here on their home ground. However, if we show composure in front of the goal then we can definitely overturn the result,” Bibiano expressed.

“Thailand are among the best youth teams in Asia and they are exceptionally good on the ball. It will also be a mental test for us considering the result of the previous game but the boys are all pumped up and ready to test themselves once again,” the coach added.

Referring to the previous match, Bibiano stated: “We were playing against a U-17 team and that was quite a challenge for us. But the boys proved yet again that we can fight back and face stronger oppositions. The hunger and desire to win in this team is unparalleled.”

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However, Bibiano feels the performance still needs to be “fine-tuned.”

“I would like to see us start matches with the same self-belief which we showed towards the end of this game,” Bibiano said.

“Had we started the game with much more belief, I think the result could have been different. Nevertheless, I am happy with the way the boys turned it around,” he said.

–IANS

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