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India will compete in U-17 World Cup: Chile coach
 
Kolkata, Aug 7 (PTI) Having seen the Indian team from close quarters in their 1-1 draw, Chile coach Hernan Caputto today said the hosts would compete and make the country proud in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in October.

The La Roja, who finished runners-up to Brazil in their South American U-17 Championships to qualify for the World Cup, led 1-0 before the spirited boys of Luis Norton de Matos restored parity in the four-nation tournament (Torneo de 4 Naciones Tournament tour) in Mexico City yesterday.

"It was a very difficult match, the way India approached the match was very interesting. We started 1-0, we had some chances, but India came out and started putting pressure on us with very fast transitions and in a counterattack they scored," he said about the Blue Tigers in an email interview with PTI after their draw against India colts.

"It was deserving, India are a team who will compete and make their country proud, you can tell there is a lot of work from Luis and what he has achieved with their players."

India produced a spirited display to hold fancied Chile in the final match of its Torneo de 4 Naciones Tournament tour.

Showering praise on de Matos, he said: "India are a very competitive team. It's coach, Luis Norton de Matos, has given the team an interesting model of play, with players that are fast and technically sound."

India had a tough start to the tournament with a 1-5 drubbing at the hands of hosts Mexico, followed by a 0-3 loss to their U-17 World Cup group A opponents Colombia.

Chile scored in the 40th minute after India's defence failed to clear the ball, but Nongdamba Naorem found the equaliser in the final 10 minutes of the game.

"About Chile, we want to keep on growing and improving, the tournament in Mexico was a very good experience and will give the team a benchmark of what we can find in the World Cup," the Argentine-born Chilean said.

Chile, who are drawn in group F with England, Mexico and Iraq, have already done a recce of the Salt Lake Stadium and are looking forward to connect with the city's football fans.

"We really liked Kolkata... It is a city with very warm people who love football. We are privileged and happy to have been drawn there as our venue and we hope that everyone from the 'City of Joy' can make Chile their team for the World Cup, because we want to identify ourselves with the spirit of their people."

Chile are not expected to have it easy in their group, but Caputto is confident of putting up a fine show.

"We are preparing ourselves to represent Chile in the best possible way and we hope to compete to the best of our ability. We are sure that people will appreciate the passion and effort we will put in every single game during the World Cup."

Chile were the hosts of the last edition of the tournament in 2015 and their best finish was a third place in 1993.

The Salt Lake Stadium will stage five group F matches beginning with Chile versus England and Iraq versus Mexico on October 8.

The stadium will also host a one-off group E fixture between Japan and New Caledonia, one pre-quarterfinal, the third place playoff and the summit clash on October 28.


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