Floyd Pinto has stated that if the Indian junior footballers play against Asian teams then it is better for them considering the Asian qualifiers coming up soon. The India U19 team will take on Kyrgyz Republic in the 9-12th position play-off match of the XXXI Granatkin Memorial Tournament.
The Indian junior boys will be facing Kyrgyz Republic today in the play-off battle of the Granatkin Memorial Tournament at Turbostroitel in Russia. India had lost its first couple of games against Russia and Moldova but managed to hold Bulgaria for a 1-1 draw. Coach Floyd Pinto is of the opinion that if India will meet teams from the continent then this will help them get ready for the upcoming continental qualifiers.
"Facing an Asian team like Kyrgyz Republic would always be advantageous for us as it'll give us a better idea about our preparation so far and how much we have improved since we started. It'll be a good marker going into the AFC U19 Championship qualifiers," Pinto was quoted as saying by the AIFF.
India had to manage a draw against Bulgaria because of an own goal by Mohammed Rafi in the opening few minutes of the game. Pinto also said that the team was not happy the way they played the first few minutes in the third group game against Bulgaria.
"Taking it forward from the Moldova game, we were not happy how we started against Bulgaria. We felt we shouldn't give the opponents an opportunity to settle down. We continued to press them and dominate the possession. After we conceded the first goal, we were able to settle down and dominate the game," the coach analysed.
"We have been working religiously on set-pieces. Throughout the tournament, we have created more chances from set-pieces. We scored two goals against Moldova from set-piece although one was disallowed. It worked for us against Bulgaria too with Akash scoring a brilliant goal from the corner.”