AFC U-16 football: Hosts India miss key players, but aim for positive start against UAE

India will look to start with a win when they take on United Arab Emirates (UAE) in their opening match of their AFC U-16 Championship match in Margao on Thursday

PTI September 15, 2016 13:42:11 IST
AFC U-16 football: Hosts India miss key players, but aim for positive start against UAE

Panaji: India will look to start with a win when they take on United Arab Emirates (UAE) in their opening match of their AFC Under-16 Championship match at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda in Margao on Thursday.

Iran and Saudi Arabia will play the group's inaugural match.

All set to make their seventh appearance at the AFC U-16 Championship, hosts India will be expecting home conditions to help them better their previous best achievement in the tournament, in 2002, when they reached the quarter-finals.

AFC U16 football Hosts India miss key players but aim for positive start against UAE

India's U-16 football team in a hurdle during their practice. Image courtesy: Twitter/Aiffmedia

India finished last in the AIFF Youth Cup, but had a successful three months training in Germany and Norway, winning 12 out of 19 matches they played. The training has helped the players raise their game by several notches.

"We have qualified in this tournament on merit and are now looking forward to qualify for the World Cup U-17 next year in India on merit by reaching the semi-finals of this tournament," said India's chief coach Nicolai Adam. "We are placed in a tough group along side UAE, Iran and Saudi Arabia and it is always good to play against strong opponents and see where we lie as we prepare ourselves for the U-17 World Cup," he added.

The coach said that the team would be missing some of its key players during the tournament. "We are missing five players who will play next year's U-17 World Cup, due to injuries and date of birth problem. It is going to be a little set-back, but we will take this in our stride and play to our potential to reach the semi-finals, which is our goal," said Adam.

UAE, who are ranked higher than India, were the first team to arrive and get acclimatised to the playing conditions and the weather. Like India, they will also be making their seventh appearance in this tournament.

UAE coach Hadelmajeed Ibrahim Mohamed Alnemer said they went to Malaysia in June to prepare for this tournament and played four friendly matches before coming to Goa. "It going to be a tough tournament as all the teams are equally good and we need to give our best to reach the semi-finals in order to qualify for the U-17 World Cup.

"We have never played against India and we do not know their style of playing. Hopefully, we play to our potential and win our first match, which will help us to achieve our goal of qualifying for the U-17 World Cup," said Alnemer.

Updated Date:

also read

Premier League: Injured Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott calls Leeds defender Pascal Struijk's ban 'wrong'
Sports

Premier League: Injured Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott calls Leeds defender Pascal Struijk's ban 'wrong'

Leeds said Wednesday the club have failed with their appeal against Struijk’s sending-off, which happened in the second half of Liverpool’s 3-0 win in the Premier League at Elland Road. Elliott required a lengthy period of treatment before being carried off on a stretcher, and underwent surgery on Tuesday.

Ligue 1: Lorient beat defending champions Lille, end their 10-month unbeaten away run
Sports

Ligue 1: Lorient beat defending champions Lille, end their 10-month unbeaten away run

The loss left Lille in 10th place ahead of hosting German Bundesliga highflyers Wolfsburg in their Champions League opener next week.

Brazil federal police investigating four Argentines over World Cup qualifier chaos
Sports

Brazil federal police investigating four Argentines over World Cup qualifier chaos

The Brazil-Argentina qualifier on Sunday was interrupted after seven minutes when agents of Brazil's health agency, Anvisa, insisted they should take the England-based players to the airport for breaching COVID-19 protocols.