INDIA – ESTONIA
January 14th, 2017; Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, 300 spectators
Best players: Boris, Heinmaa
Nicolai Adam, Head coach of team India:
– I saw a beautiful play of the Indian team today, the boys did their best and I think that the youth football should be much like this. Despite they are young, they were fighting equally against the elder team.
– One of your players – Boris – is mentioned more often than others during this tournament. He’s a real star here. Do you depend on him much?
– First of all, I don’t think that a player born in 2000 can be called a star. And I can’t say that we depend on him much. Yes, he’s good as a right defender and he is also good in other positions. But we have a big squad, and I would like to see more players in my team. As I said before, India is a huge country, but our football is only developing and we don’t have a lot of top players.
– You made the only substitution during the match…
– My team was playing well. Why should I make substitutions? I did not see any reason for that.
Lars Hopp, Head coach of team Estonia:
– I’d like to start with a compliment to our opponents. They showed a great performance and gave us a valuable experience – we understood that we could change the game balance during the match progress. I was not satisfied with the play my team showed during the first half, as it was too complicated. We did a couple of substitutions during the second half and gave more instructions to players, especially about their strength against younger opponents. We won, and that’s very good.
– Was it risky to start a match without team leaders?
– Yes, we did not put a number of key players to the starting line-up. But I must also save the players, because the tournament schedule is very tight. On the one hand, the competition is long and I had to give a bit of rest to the boys. But on the other hand, being in a starting line-up is a needed experience for the player. For once, everyone should be given an opportunity to play from the very first minutes, to wait for the kick-off and to sing the anthem representing the national team.
– It is obvious that players from team Estonia are taller than Indian boys. Maybe you should use this advantage more often?
– Yes, maybe we should. As for the second half, we put a bet on this and scored. I already said that I think we are progressing with each match. But with experience comes fatigue. My players looked tired by the end of the match. You might have seen that they had not enough energy to cover the full pitch perimeter. However, our opponent was tired too. They also left some empty zones and we tried to use them.