Coach defends 'organised' India

We do not have a culture of competition, says De Matos

Coach defends 'organised' India

 The defensive approach of Indian boys against the USA , especially in the starting minutes, attracted questions, but  coach Luis Norton De Matos defended his wards saying they were very organised.

The hosts’ maiden World Cup outing resulted in a 3-0 defeat against the USA, a team much ahead in skills and experience. However, there was no taking away from the Indian backline, which was well marshalled by Anwar Ali and Jitendra Singh.  

“You talk about being defensive, I say very organised. USA played with four forwards. Usually, the number 11 (Andrew Carleton) or Akinola would play, but they played both which was a strong force with an intention to score early. We know through their past that they want to get a result in the first 20 minutes. They had occasions too,” Matos conceded.

The penalty, due to the foul of Jitendra, opened the scoring against the over-awed Indians. Till then they had done a good job of holding the American strikers. Matos also pointed out the Indians’ problem.

“We conceded a stupid goal in the first half because of a penalty. We started the game a little shy. We weren’t good in the last pass because it was very important for us to get it right in transition. We do have difficulty in putting the last pass. Until the half-time, it was possible to keep the score respectable,” said de Matos.

India, though, had their chances in the second half through Komal Thatal and Anwar, whose shot agonisingly hit the crossbar. “Despite it being 2-0, we didn’t lose control. We had two possibilities from Komal (Thatal) and Anwar (Ali),” he said.

“It was important for us to score in that moment as it would have had a good effect. In the same action, America scored and made it 3-0. It was a big punishment for us. Even though the US were superior to us, I would have liked to see what would have happened had we made it 2-1. Surely we would have gone for the draw in the final 15 minutes and the US would have been under pressure. The players proved with more experience, they can play against such teams.”

Matos reiterated India’s lack of competition which resulted in errors. “We do not have a culture of competition. This is the first time the boys are playing in front of a crowd of 40,000 and with the quality of USA. They lost a lot of passes which usually they would have successfully completed. Sometime later in the game, they had the possibility to create things. USA played at least seven games in the last two months in a competition.”

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