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Rediff.com  » Sports » U-17 World Cup Digest: 'We're not afraid of facing tough opponents'

U-17 World Cup Digest: 'We're not afraid of facing tough opponents'

Last updated on: September 26, 2017 17:04 IST

India U-17 coach Luis Norton de Matos (right) with FIFA U-17 World Cup’s tournament director Javier  Seppi and AIFF chief Praful Patel

IMAGE: India U-17 coach Luis Norton de Matos (right) with FIFA U-17 World Cup’s tournament director Javier Seppi and AIFF chief Praful Patel. Photograph: Indian Football/Twitter

India's captain for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Amarjit Singh has said that his players have worked extremely hard in the last couple of years and are not afraid of facing tough opponents in the upcoming mega event, starting October 6.

"Under the new Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos we have learnt a lot of new things. The foreign tour has also helped us to be mentally tough against tough opponents. And now we are not afraid to play against the tough opponents," said Amarjit.

India have been placed in Group A in the FIFA U-17 World Cup alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana.

The hosts will face USA on October 6, followed by Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

"Our plan is to put the best foot forward for the upcoming tournament and play good matches. We have worked really hard and are capable of playing well. We can build good image of out team in the next few weeks during the tournament," said the skipper.

Coach De Matos said: I'm satisfied with the quality of the players and I'd love to hold more possession."

The Indian team will leave for New Delhi on Wednesday afternoon.

Over 20K tickets sold for first match day at DYP

Over 20,000 tickets have been sold for match day 1 of the FIFA U17 World Cup at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on October 6.

"Over 20,000 tickets have been sold out so far out of the total capacity (around 45,000) of the stadium," sources said today.

The stadium will host two matches on the opening day of the tournament.

According to sources, with another 10 days left for the tournament kick-off, a full house for the first two games is expected.

They also said the stadium will be handed over to FIFA anytime after September 28, though a final date is yet to be fixed.

Meanwhile, the D Y Patil Stadium has been completely renovated for the FIFA event, to be hosted by India for the first time.

As per sources, all the seats have been changed to ensure that spectators get a good view of the games. The seats have been imported from South Korea.

"All the new seats are put in. A new fabric roof has been installed and we have made sure the seating is done in such a manner that every spectator, who sits in the stadium, has a unique watching experience," a senior official of D Y Patil Sports Academy recently told PTI.

"In terms of renovation, two practise grounds are ready in the facility (campus)," he said.

It is learnt that all arrangements are in place for the tournament and some finishing touches are being given.

And as per sources in the know, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has agreed to ply buses from the stadium to nearby railway stations --  Juinagar and Nerul -- for the convenience of commuters.

England name 21-member squad

England head coach Steve Cooper on Tuesday announced a 21-member squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in India from October 6 to 28.

Cooper has included most of the players who had helped England to qualify for the World Cup after reaching the final of the U-17 European Championship last season.

The squad played two warm-up games in September, drawing against Brazil in Shrewsbury before suffering a 1-2 defeat against South Africa in Leek.

Jadon Sancho, who missed the September get-together while completing a switch from ManchesterCity to Borussia Dortmund, is a new inclusion to the group.

Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, who has impressed with his form at StamfordBridge for their U-18s, has also been included in the England squad for the first time.

England enjoyed a strong campaign last time around, reaching the Euro Finals in Croatia with distinction before suffering their first defeat of the season in a penalty shoot-out in the final against Spain.

The 2011 quarter-finalists will travel to India this week for a pre-World Cup training camp in Mumbai, where they will play a warm-up game with New Zealand on October 1.

After that, they will shift their base to Kolkata where they open their World Cup campaign against Chile on October 8.

Their second game will see them up against Mexico three days later before their final group game against Iraq on October 14.

England U-17 squad:

Goalkeepers: Curtis Anderson (ManchesterCity), Josef Bursik (Stoke City), William Crelin (FleetwoodTown)

Defenders: Timothy Eyoma (Tottenham Hotspur), Joel Latibeaudiere (Manchester City), Marc Guéhi (Chelsea), Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea), Lewis Gibson (Everton), Steven Sessegnon (Fulham), Morgan Gibbs White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tashan Oakley Boothe (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Nya Kirby (CrystalPalace), George McEachran (Chelsea)

Forwards: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Callum Hudson Odoi (Chelsea), Philip Foden (ManchesterCity), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal), Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), Danny Loader

(Reading).

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