NEW DELHI: 10-man India U-20 defeated counterparts Argentina 2-1 in the U-20 COTIF Cup in Spain on Sunday.
Eight boys who represented India in the FIFA U-17 World Cup started the day for India with the rest being from AIFF’s developmental team Indian Arrows.
Goals by Deepak Tangri (4th) and a free-kick by Anwar Ali (68th) along with some determined pressing, defending and astute passing, helped India register the upset victory against Argentina U-20 who have won six FIFA U-20 World Cups over the years. This is the second time the two sides met – the first time being in the 3rd Nehru Cup in Calcutta in 1984 when India lost 0-1.
“Yeah, we were reduced to 10 after Aniket Yadav was flashed the red card. To play 40 minutes against Argentina with 10 men, double our lead and hold on to the lead to eventually win, needed every ounce of character and vocal support, both on and off the field, coach Floyd pinto said after the match.
“The one thing missing from our continued development through this tournament were goals. I am really happy the boys adapted so quickly and effectively to the changes we made post our first gamer. I just couldn’t have asked for a better reaction,” added Floyd.
“The bench was understandably ecstatic yet calm as there was a lot of football yet to be played. Deepak Tangri’s goal was one of a sheer determination while Anwar Ali’s free-kick was of the highest order. We wanted to put in a performance that would make people forget about our previous game against Venezuela U-20 and the boys managed to do that,” said Floyd .
“The loss provoked us to rethink the way we played against high calibre opponents. To achieve first a draw against current U-20 FIFA World Cup runners-up Venezuela and now beat Argentina goes to show the immense work put in to restructure the organization of the team & the flawless execution by the players in both games. The win today has given me the belief that with the right support we are moving in the right direction,” opined Floyd when asked to comment on the morale of the team ,after the loss against Mauritania .
“This victory will definitely earn Indian football more respect in the World of Football. It opens up a window of opportunity to test ourselves against the best in the World on a regular basis,” concluded Floyd.