India tough side to face, reckons US U-17 coach

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New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) US U-17 football team coach John Hackworth reckoned on Thursday that India will be a dangerous side to face, ahead of their FIFA U-17 World Cup clash against the hosts on Friday.

“I think the key tomorrow is our defence plays well, if our defence plays well it initiates our attack to do well and what have seen we understand that it is a dangerous India team,” Hackworth told reporters during the pre-match press conference.

“There is number 9, there are centre fowards and may different players, we have to be very respectful (of India),” the 47-year-old added.

Hackworth, also said India are the hardest working team in the tournament and the side has improved since last year.

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“They (India) are one of the hardest working team we have seen, we have played them here over a year ago. the way they play the way they compete our assumptions without seeing them a lot last year has changed,” the US coach said.

“They have improved and they have done really well, we will have to come into the match with a lot of respect for India,” Hackworth added.

US forward Josh Sargent was confident of his team’s chances and said the Americans are ready to face the hosts in their opening fixture.

“India is a very good team, they are a hardworking team but I know out team is very ready for them,” the striker said.

Sargent, who also represents the US in the U-20 category, said he will use his experience to help the US team perform better.

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“I had experience in the U-20 World Cup and it was very nice for me to experience that because I can bring that experience to this team and try to help us play with some better ability,” the forward said.

“Like you said it’s their (India’s) first World Cup, they will be very excited and we are ready for the match,” Sargent added.

The US are slated to face India in the second fixture on the opening day of the U-17 World Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.



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