India colts gear up for SAFF semis against Afghanistan

Kathmandu, July 27 (IANS) Riding high on the back of two convincing victories against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the group stages, India U-16 colts take on Afghanistan in the second semifinal of the SAFF U-16 Championship at the Army Ground here Sunday.

Going into the knockout clash, what pleases head coach Goutam Ghosh most is not the fact that the team has scored six goals, conceding only one, in the two matches they played so far, but the manner in which they tasted success staying true to the principle.

"The boys are improving with every game," Ghosh said.

"I said the other day that rectifying the mistakes we committed against Sri Lanka is the main aim. In training on the eve of our match against Bangladesh, I stressed on the weaknesses. It was heartening to see the boys not repeating the same errors and playing to the plan perfectly," he added.

Further explaining his point, Ghosh said: "I told the boys to not lose possession cheaply. Against Bangladesh, they kept the ball much better and were passing well."

"Football is such a beautiful game that with every match you discover new areas to work upon. Against Afghanistan the aim remains the same, to work on our weaknesses," he quipped.

The Afghans won one drew two matches in the group stages, finishing with five points from three outings while India have logged full points from their two games.

"Afghanistan are a very tough side. They play a in a conventional 4-4-2 formation," Ghosh informed.

Matches