16 Jan, 2019
The AFC Champions Cup Report by Tushar Dev, Secy Simla Youngs FC, www.simlayoungs.com
We got invited to this expanded group of 24, instead of the usual 16. and finished last 8 , as one of the 8 teams that did not qualify.
Our FIFA ranking was 97 before the tournament, and I would agree that is engineered, and by the end of the 3 matches we won
Match 1 : 4-1 with Thailand (Ranking 113 I think)
It was a match of 2 halfs. The first one, we got a penalty due to the speed of Mohd Ashique on the left flank. Thailand was a better team, with very good passing. And they scored of a free kick, with our Giant GK Gurpreet misjudging completely. Thailand was doing better and could have scored more.
2nd Half started with a darting run by Udanta Singh of Manipur and centring for Ashique, who lay off for Chettri to score. That killed the Thai spirit, and then again Udanta twisted in the box and allowed Anirudh Thapa to chip coolly for the 3rd Goal. The unfit looking Jeje came and scored a good goal (Sometimes , these players score and extend their battery life and get exposed later on..)
Match 2 : 0-2 with UAE (ranking 75 I think)
We had 4 chances
Ashique did not chip the ball in one-o-one, when the GK had advanced, and his shot instead of being in the corner and below the knee height - led to the GK saving easily
Chettri headed the ball into the GK hands from 5 yards
Udanta shot at the bar from a narrow angle
Chettri shot wide, when he should have done a lay off to the player running parallel to him
1st goal - a clever shimmy and run forward by their player beat our 2 defenders in the box, and froze our Giant of a GK, and then the shot was made - he wanted to box the ball !
2nd Goal - a long ball from their midfield was trapped nicely by their striker. A kick and inside pivot (Coerver Drill), confused on defender, and a jab on the ground again froze our GK Gurpreet - so the shot was made, and he as not in a position to hold to the ball.
When Jeje came as a substitute, the game got slowed more, and we lost the momentum.
Match 3 : 0-1 with Bahrain (ranking 110 I think)
I did not see the match, however I hear Bahrain was all over us, and if they had some more composure in the offensive 3rd, they would have won by higher margin
The penalty was conceded, when the ball was out of reach of the striker, and he was not facing the goal, and our defender was goal side of the striker, plus 2 more defenders were in between the striker and the defender - in short there was no need to do the tackle
So, we ended 4th in a group of 4, and are out of the tournament.
Post Mortem :
The team was fitter, and played well in the first 2 games
GK has no match practice, and conceded 2 goals in 2 one - o - one with the striker
Nobody feinghts in the offensive 3rd, so cannot create a numerical superiority, so cannot get shots on the goal.
The Set pieces were poorly taken. Nobody is doing the dummy, no one in overlap, no one in the wall, no one for lay off, no one for far post curl etc…
If the team is genuinely 25 average age - then it is fine. However, if they have fudged ages by 5 years, then there are some 39 years in the team.. So, we are not putting our fittest countrymen on the pitch.
They woefully lack match practice, all of them. They do not know how to handle pressure. (eg the U17 World Cup, the only goal scored by us V/s Colombia, and the players are celebrating the goal so much - that they concede in 15 sec after that) . Research says that a team is most likely to concede a goal in the next 2 minutes, after scoring a goal.
1. Series of U11, U13, U15, U17 leagues in each Metro town has to be started. 6 month leagues.
2. National Database of the Youth players need to be put on AIFF website, after (Gruelich Pyle’s Criterion Xray is done by Radiologist like Dr Devlina Chakraborty, of Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon) - so that the same player does not cheat in Subroto Cup, AIFF and Inter State Games.
So that a genuine 17-19 years is given 30-45 min of playing time in main state leagues, so that by 21 he is the best player that he can ever be (Contrast this to the actual scenario, when a player reaches 21, he is masquerading as a petite 16y - Sweet Sixten…) The State Police, etc have to insist on Age Verification via this method, as players are fudging their ages to play for state and country, so that, they can get Government Jobs.
3. ISL is a tamasha (quoted by FIFA chief, when he visited India), it could be stopped. I-League 1st div is the main tournament and with relegation etc, players/coaches will face pressure etc. The Rs 1,000 Cr per year investment by Reliance is clearly not working.
4. The Business houses have to find the P Gopinchand’s of Football in each city and fund them for 3-5 years.
India’s World’s most populous Nation, and is not represented on the World’s most watched Sporting Event - FIFA World Cup (We need to be in top 5 in Asia from the present 24th)
Is anybody listening ?