Former stars praise colts' spirited show

 Indian boys waltzed into history with their maiden appearance in the FIFA under-17 World Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday. It might have ended in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the United States of America, but their performance has delighted the former footballers from the country.

The past masters were impressed in particular by defenders Anwar Ali and Jitendra Singh and goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh.

“They should not lose heart. Without adequate infrastructure and competitions, these boys put up such a performance. They were a bit overwhelmed by the Americans at the start, but later I felt they played with confidence,” said former ace striker IM Vijayan.

Chuni Goswami was touched by the fight the colts put up against their superior opponents. “See, you will obviously want them to win, but you cannot ignore their inexperience. I felt they were too defensive, but you have to give credit to our defenders. Our goalkeeper did a good job. They need to work on ball possession and passing.  Despite that, they put up a good show and it was very satisfying,” said the legendary forward.

For former Indian goalkeeper Bhaskar Ganguly, the effort by Dheeraj simply stood out. “I thought he was brilliant. He can develop into a big asset. He will be a star in the future with practice.”

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