SAFF U-17 C’Ships: India to face Nepal in final

Focused on learning from its mistakes, the Indian football team will take on Nepal in the SAFF U-17 Championship final here on Wednesday.

The Indian camp sounded confident on the eve of the match.

“We started the tournament well. But it was a nervy start nonetheless. This is the first tournament that the boys are playing for the country, and that can always give you a few jitters,” said head coach Bibiano Fernandes.

“The result against Nepal was a wake-up call for us. The boys reacted extremely well after the setback. We have identified, and worked on our weaknesses. I need to credit the boys for taking up this challenge,” he added.

The blue colts had started their campaign with a victory against Bhutan, but suffered a 1-3 loss at the hands of Nepal in their second group stage game before turning their fortunes around against Bangladesh with a 2-1 victory in the semi-final.

While the coach spoke about eliminating the mistakes, the players are looking forward to redeem themselves after the last defeat against Nepal.

“We were terribly upset after the loss to Nepal. We wanted a rematch, and it is our chance to prove ourselves in the final,” said captain Vanlalpeka Guite.

“We are completely focused.” One major change for the boys, the coach noted, has been the change in the mindset.

“There is always a lot to learn from any defeat, and I need to appreciate the mindset of the boys. We all know how good Nepal are, and you can see how much the boys are focusing on the job ahead,” said Bibiano.

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