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Boys proved they belonged on same pitch as elite opponents: Pinto

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

New Delhi: Proud of his players for competing well against a superior French team, India's U-19 football head coach Floyd Pinto said his boys proved that they belonged on the same pitch as their elite opponents.   

The Indian U-19 team went down 0-2 against the French U-19 side in the four-nation tournament, which concluded on Sunday.

"I am happy with the team's performance in the tournament," Floyd said.

"The boys stood firm and restricted a far superior opponent for most of the match. Considering some of the French players are playing in French Ligue 1, our boys did a brilliant job. They proved that they belonged on the same pitch as their elite opponents," he added.

A goal in each of the two halves helped France eke out a 2-0 victory. "In such matches, it is imperative that we defend well. The two goals we conceded came from minor errors. We need to work on that aspect," he quipped.

The Indian team had earlier lost by a late goal against Slovenia (0-1) and had gone down 0-5 to Croatia in its first match.

"All three games were against high quality opponents, preparing for the Euro U-19 2019 qualifiers. I am extremely proud of my boys. Looking back, we were unable to take our chances, especially those against Slovenia. The only blip was the first half against Croatia where we conceded a lot of goals," Floyd said.

The team will now depart for the Serbian shores where the colts will clash against the hosts in back-to-back International friendlies on September 13 and 17.

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