India’s U-17 World Cup 21-man squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 was announced on Thursday.
India are in Group A alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana and are definite underdogs going into what will be their first-ever participation in a FIFA tournament. However, coach Luis Norton de Matos believes the side are equipped to deal with the challenge.
“We believe that we are prepared for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. We have worked hard and made progress, but at the same time we go directly to a high level competition against some of the best teams in the world,” said de Matos.
“We will fight to win each match even if there is only five percent chance of winning. We will not give up and nothing is impossible in football. We plan to show the world that we are on the same page as them”, he added.
In order to prepare for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 in India, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) organised tours for the India U-17s wherein the side faced Macedonia, Serbia and Benfica amongst others.
They also took part in a four-nation tournament in Mexico where they lost against Mexico and Colombia, but held Chile to a 1-1 draw despite being reduced to ten-man.
“Against Chile and Macedonia we registered good results but the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be a competition and competitions are different from friendly matches”, Matos informed.
“However, the level of the players is very high and we plan to give it our all once the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks-off”, Matos quipped.
The 21 man squad is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal
DEFENDERS: Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin, Hendry Antonay, Namit Deshpande
MIDFIELDERS: Suresh Singh, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Abhijit Sarkar, Komal Thatal, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Md. Shahjahan
FORWARDS: Rahim Ali, Aniket Jadhav
India will take on USA in their first group game on October 6th at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.