After losing their first two matches in the ongoing AFC U-19 Championship 2020 qualifiers, India's football coach Floyd Pinto on Saturday said that the team is determined to end the competition on a winning note.
India has faced defeats in their opening two matches against Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia. The side would look to play for pride in their final match against Afghanistan.
"We have treated every game like a final and will go into the Afghanistan match with the same intensity and attitude as we have. We know that they will also be fighting for pride and we can expect a good game against them. Playing three matches in five days is not easy and we'll assess the players and see how they recover. We are all determined to end this tournament on a winning note," All India Football Federation (AIFF) quoted Pinto as saying.
India lost its last match against Saudi Arabia 0-4 and all the goals were conceded in the first half of the game.
"You cannot give an opposition like Saudi Arabia such easy opportunities to score. They are a quality team and punished us every time we gave the ball away cheaply. The first goal changed a lot of things - we switched off and lost our shape. However, we improved in the second half and now, we have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next match against Afghanistan," Pinto said.
The Indian coach also applauded the crowd who came out in big numbers to support the players in the ongoing competition.
"They really gave the boys a lot of confidence. They continued to support us even when the chips were down and we were behind. At half-time, we could hear the sound of their drums and roars in the dressing room and that really made an impact on the players as they went out for the second half. I hope we can give them a good result on Sunday," Pinto said.
India will next take on Afghanistan in the ongoing tournament on Sunday, November 10 at the Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium in Al Khobar.
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