Kathmandu: After a thumping 5-0 win over Maldives in the last Group B league match, the India U-16 football team gears up for the all important semifinal against Nepal in the SAFF U-16 Championship here Monday.
India will take on the Group B winner and hosts Nepal in the second semifinal and it is not going to be an easy outing for the Indians. Pakistan will take on Bangladesh in the first semifinal to be played on the same day.
"You need to give credit to these guys. They showed a great presence of mind and stuck to the plans. We practised in the artificial turf before coming into this tournament, but the ground condition here is bit slippery. They read the condition very well and came out with flying colours," said coach Thomas Joseph.
On their next opponents, Joseph said: "They are a very good side and the results speaks for them. However, our boys are up for the task. We take one match at a time and our sole aim now is to win the semifinal."
"It is equally important for everyone to understand their role as so far they have done a great job. We find difficulty in picking up the starting XI as almost all of them are equally talented."
Vanlalduatsanga, who was pick of the scorers in the last match scoring a brace was all elated with his performance, said he is looking forward to the contest.
"It is a great feeling and I am very happy that we qualified for the Semis. Everyone played very well and we are looking forward to the semifinals".
Indian skipper Mohammed Sajid echoed the same sentiment and said: "We played very well as a team and will hope to carry on the same momentum in the semifinals as well."