Published: Monday, 09 January 2017 14:09



Group C

January 9th, 2017; Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, 300 spectators


Best players: Spiriak, Suyunov


Post match comments

Alexander Kuznetsov, Head coach of team Kazakhstan:

– First of all, please let thank the FUR for the invitation to this prestigious tournament and express gratitude to the organizers for their attention to multiple small details. As for the team, I must say that I took the position of the head coach very recently, and we’ve been jointly working for only four days now. Previously I was working with the U-17 team, and our football Association offered me to take the U-19 team. Each team has its own stages of development. Our current target is to form the team. Thanks to international matches we can see many guys in action. We chose to make our team younger and, keeping in mind the future, we invited some U-17 players – you could see them today. Everyone managed to fulfill the tactical game plan. We lacked energy in the end and had to make corrections – a fresh defender went on to play in midfield. The guys showed their character, just like I asked them. They showed they had strength and I am grateful for this. This match was very important for us, since we’re in the same group with Slovakia in the upcoming Qualifiers in November. This squad is a basis for our preparations. Now we know many players and we shall prepare for the European Championship games. The task of the coaching staff is not to require great results now, but to set discipline, motivation and tactical play. Our opponent was strong today, so I consider the result is fair.

– We’re following your Federation, your national team, and we’re seeing a significant leap ahead in football development in your country. Is it connected with good financing? Or the stars began to come earlier than money?

– “Astana” that is representing Kazakhstan in the international arena is the Presidential club, and it values the image of our country and every single effort made to develop it. “Kairat” built good infrastructure that is currently the best in Kazakhstan. The youth football still lacks infrastructure and good international tournaments, but we have new management and we defined our goals for development.

The famous player, Bauyrzhan Islamkhan, started to show his brilliance on this tournament, making his way to the captain of “Kairat” club after. Do you have any players now, who you can compare to this star?

– We have creative, bright players. You may have noticed one of our young forwards, who’s playing in local tournaments. He’s not in his best physical condition now, but during qualifiers for the European U-17 championship, he scored against Serbia and Albania, and made his opponents very nervous. Just like Islamkhan, he was born in the same city of Taraz, which is a birthplace for a number of good players. I can mention lots of boys in today’s match, but they still have much to work on. We have not showed our best performance yet, we should train more, but I am glad that the boys showed their character.

– Do you consider a draw as a two points loss, or do you regard it as gaining one point?

– Of course, we want to win every game and not to be afraid of anyone. Guys from the U-17 team do not have enough experience, and our management supported my idea to let younger boys play here, so we can set perspectives. It’s rather hard to play with older opponents. Slovakian team made more out of their set pieces, but we tried to be active too, fighting to create more dangerous moments. Unfortunately, four days for preparation is not enough. I think, that the draw is an expected result.

– You joined the team just before this important tournament. What do you think about your new appointment – is this a challenge, a routine, or a headache?

– I joined the team on December 16th, 2016 and we started our preparation on January 3rd, on the National team base in Talgara. We understand that we do not have enough players born in 1999, so we decided to build our team from players born in 2000 and set serious goals. Now we consider improvement of training and gaining of experience as our main goals, not to mention finding the potential players, who could join the national team. We can improve the overall team level, being supported by needed infrastructure, using it to show our best. I see this appointment as a challenge, since I worked with older boys from U-19 group, but I understand the football situation in the country, which has its own development program. I have support and understanding from our managers now and I am hoping on it in the future as well.


Milan Malatinsky, Head coach of team Slovakia:

– Thank you for the fourth invitation to this tournament! We had lots of scoring chances in this match, including the counterattacks. It was an interesting game, where we have already showed our force, and we hope to improve the quality throughout the tournament. Like the National team of Kazakhstan, we will also analyze this match in a context of future tournament where we play in the same group.

– Do you consider a draw as a two points loss, or do you regard it as gaining one point?

– Kazakhstan has a strong defense. But their attacking players were also very agile, thus, dangerous, and it made us build our strategy dependent on this fact. Unfortunately, we didn’t convert our chances. I also agree that the draw is a rightful result.

– Do you find the team you brought here optimal? Do you have team basis, or do you use rotation?

– Our main goal is to prepare players born in 2000, who haven’t reach eighteen years yet.

– What goals did you set for this tournament?

– Each year we come to Saint Petersburg to proudly represent our country, to make players feel this pride and show their competitive spirit.

– Have you already set an attacking line? Or will you change it during the tournament?

– We brought twenty players to give each one of them an opportunity to show their skills. Saint Petersburg is a very beautiful city, but we came here to play football (smiling).

– We got used to the fact, that each year Slovakia starts this tournament very actively. This year it seems that the team is not on the move yet. Why?

– Each match brings opponents to us. As I already said, team Kazakhstan is very well organized, while it’s only the second tournament for my players – we still continue searching for the best squad. We also understand our problems in the attacking line and converting our scoring chances.





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