Muscat: The Under-22 Indian football team will have its task cut out when it faces the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in its third match of the AFC U-22 Championship 2013 qualifiers here Thursday.
Coach Arthur Papas admits the tie against UAE could be the defining match in the tournament.
"We need to maintain our consistency. We have had two very good games so far. Though the results have been different, there are so many positives which have emerged."
"The boys have shown character and at this level you have to play with the same intensity every day. UAE are a very tough opposition. I reiterate one shouldn`t be expecting miracles. Everyone needs to be patient," he said.
India captain Jeje Lalpeklua, who has scored against the UAE senior team in the World Cup qualifiers, is raring to go.
"I still remember Dika`s (Lalrindika Ralte) cross which was inch perfect. I just had to nod it in," Jeje recalled with Dika on his side.
"The turf was slushy maintaining balance was difficult. There`s a sort of telepathy between Jeje and me," Dika quips.
Coach Papas said attention to minute details will make the difference.
"In International Matches, more often than not, the details decide the fate. Minute details such as set pieces, corners, etc. We need to be perfect," he said.
UAE coach Baler Sadih said he has have quite a few options up his sleeve. "We look forward to the match."
UAE have been unstoppable so far. In the first match, they beat hosts Oman 2-0 while in the second they accounted for Turkmenistan 1-0.
Cricket is a religion in India but we will grow very fast and we will go a long way. I am happy to be playing with some of the best Indian players in ISL.