not surprising

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Oct 2017 10:43:50

THAT the Indian team lost to the stronger US team 0-3 in its first game of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup on the opening day of the mega event, is not surprising, nor is the result shocking. Such an outcome, more or less, was expected. As already said by Indian Coach Luis Norton de Matos, there is a big gap between the Indian team and rest of the teams in India’s pool. And that showed during the entire course of the match. Though the fighting spirit of the young Indian lads came for praise,especially Goalkeeper Moirangthem Dheeraj Singh’s keeping skills, the discerning people knew the difference between the two sides. The coach of course expressed happiness the way the boys produced collective effort but he was obviously not pleased with the result. He seems to have expected some counter response to the American team by way of change of the final scoreline and not blank scoreboard on the Indian side. 

While the result in the first encounter at the highest stage of world soccer may not be very happy for the young Indian players, the best that has happened is that big league soccer has made its entry in the country for the first time and that India got the chance to play in this premier event and be the host. Hence forward India can look forward to hosting similar events that would be beneficial to aspiring players and would provide feast of world class football to millions of fans all over the country. This event is in itself a big occasion for Indian soccer.

Since it was the first exposure of this level for the Indian boys it is likely that they were under pressure to perform before the expectant home crowd. Inexperience of this level of soccer too may have played a part in the Indian boys not being able to counter the attacks from the Americans. As rightly said by coach Matos with some more experience the boys would play much better against teams with calibre. Thus the coach, though disappointed over the margin of the result, is optimistic about the talent that his wards possess and hopes them to improve with each passing game. That optimism from the coach itself would help the young boys to regroup themselves for a better show in the next outing of the current tournament.

That each venue of the current World Cup is drawing sizable crowds shows the tremendous pull the game has in the country. Especially there are some pockets, like Kolkata, Kerala, the Northeastern states, Goa, where the game is hugely popular and they are responding well to the world event with crowds thronging the stadia at all venues to avail the opportunity to view all fancied international sides from very close quarters. One big gift from this tournament will be the infrastructure that has come up for this marquee event.