Bibiano Fernandes sounded optimistic after India were knocked out of the U-16 Championship and mentioned that India is capable of beating better ranked teams in the world. India needed to win in the quarterfinals of the U-16 Championships to make it to the FIFA under-17 World Cup to be held in Peru.
Indian Under-16 football team equaled their best performance in the U-16 Championships but faltered at the crucial juncture to miss out on an Under-17 World Cup berth. India lost to South Korea 0-1 and missed the opportunity of qualifying for the under-17 World Cup. Still, the coach sounded extremely proud of his boys’ performance.
“The boys gave their hundred percent in the match. We have shown the world what India is capable of. We pipped Iran in our group and finished ahead of them to qualify for the quarterfinals. The match against Korea proved that it wasn’t a fluke” Bibiano Fernandes told PTI.
“We know how strong a team Korea Republic was and we knew what they can do to us. We played our high pressing game with compact defending, but it was one moment where we fell complacent and Korea scored. This team has the potential to go a long way and it is evident with the results that the team has delivered. It is never easy to play the
Senior Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri, who closely follows and encourages the junior circuit team of India, had texted Fernandez the night after the U-16 team lost against South Korea.
“Yes, he messaged me last night after the match. His support means a lot to us,
“We go back and begin again. The U-16 Championship is over and it is time to look forward to the U-19 Championships. This was an experience and we go back enriched.”