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October 18, 2017

The Indian coach of the Under-17 national team Luis Norton de Matos has called for more international exposure for the team. The manager said there was a massive gap compared to the soccer levels in the rest of the world.

Hosts India lost 4-0 to their Ghanaian counterparts in the last Group A game at the ongoing tournament. The coach said the team gave their best at the tournament but they met superior teams. De Matos said they faced two tough games and they knew Ghana would be tougher as Africans are generally good at the Under-17 level.

Ghana had been firm favourites ahead of the tie, with odds of Evens only just available to fans who used Betfair Sign Up bonuses – they were at 1/5 on most exchanges. The Ghanaians proved too fast and compact for the India as they dominated the game and won comfortably. The coach said the team could not afford to hold the ball against such opponents so they played defensive tactics hoping for a big break.

“Our players looked tired in the first half itself and it showed on the field. We thus made mistakes and were punished by Ghana. Congratulations to them, they were the better team but I’m very proud of the players.”

He clearly pointed out that the player were talented and serious with their careers but that they needed international exposure to mature. He asked for investment in the players and that they feature in the Indian Football League.

De Matos said even that would not be enough as Indian Super League teams lose scandalously to 4th division teams in Europe like Spain. He stressed on the importance of giving the players more opportunities and helping them develop into stars that can play for the national team.

His Ghanaian counterpart Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin said he was satisfied with the scoreline even though the team could have scored more. To rub salt into the wound, he also claimed that the Indian team didn’t pose any real threat and were not as competitive as he had expected them to be.

With hosts India now out of the World Cup, many pundits are hoping that attendances stay high at matches – so far the turnout from fans has been good, with thousands turning up in the hope of seeing the next Messi or Ronaldo in action long before they start to make an impact on the top leagues around the world. Of particular interest are the Argentinean and Brazilian teams, who have obvious attractions, whilst the powerful German side also have a new cult following across India!