Confident India gear up for Iran in AFC U-16 qualifiers

Tabriz (Iran), Sep 17 (IANS) After starting their campaign with a thumping victory, a confident Indian side will next take on hosts Iran in their second match of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 qualifiers here on Friday.

The Indians dominated Bahrain in their first match on Wednesday, claiming a well deserved 5-0 win.

India U-16 head coach Nicolai Adam believes that the match against Iran will be a tougher test for his team, adding that it is important for the boys to know where they stand and how good they are.

Speaking about India’s superb performance in the opener, the coach said: “Yeah, the manner in which they performed was encouraging indeed. But I have told the boys to stay focused. 5-0 was a good result but we have played against stronger teams in Germany during our exposure tour. But Iran will be really strong.”

Adam believes that Iran will be tough opponents and his boys must put up an even better performance to outclass the hosts.

“Iran will be a real test for us and we are all looking forward to it. It’s important for the boys to know where they stand and how good they are,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Thursday.

Keeping in mind the U-17 World Cup in India next year, the coach wants his team to perform better and know where they actually stand.

“The goal must be to become better. And in order to see how good you are, you need to play against top teams. Our goal is to become the top Team as we will be playing in the U-17 World Cup. It’s a good way to see where we are right now,” the coach said.

On the huge expectations from millions of people back home in India, Adam said: “I urge all to continue supporting us so that we can prepare professionally and become better.

“It’s the generation which will be representing India at the global platform and they deserve all the basic amenities and support. My message to all Indians is to stay calm as we still have a long way to go. We still have two years left.”

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