India look to continue winning run in U-22 AFC meet

Updated: Jun 24, 2012, 18:55 PM IST

Muscat: An upbeat India would look to continue their winning run when they take on Iraq in the AFC Under-22 football Championship on Monday.

India`s young footballers are high on confidence after their stunning 5-2 win over Lebanon, but head coach Arthur Papas preferred to stay cautious.

"We need to be cautious. Iraq are one of the strongest teams in Asia. It`s true we will take a lot of confidence from our match against Lebanon. But against Iraq, it will be a different match altogether," he said.

Jeje Lalpekhlua and debutant Alwyn George scored two goals each while Manandeep Singh found the net once against Lebanon.

The best part of the squad is that everyone is willing to back each other.

Against Lebanon, there were three who made their international debut -- Shaiju Mon, Ganeshan and George. Alwyn went on to score twice while Shaiju and Ganeshan played with attitude.

The junior boys are also getting used to Papas` style of play.

"We stayed a bit skeptical about the style at the outset. But we are enjoying it at the moment," Lalrindika Ralte said.

Jeje Lalpekhlua added: "We are a confident lot now but we need to be a more complete lot."
Iraq were clinical in their display when they brushed aside Turmkenistan 4-0 in their first match of the Championship.

Papas said his team will look for a win at any cost.
"We will fight and try for a positive result. So far, the boys have shown excellent character," Papas said.

PTI