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Road to U-17 World Cup: How India fared under Nicolai Adam

Goal.com logo Goal.com 25-06-2017

India is privileged to host the U-17 World Cup this year in what promises the biggest footballing event to grace the subcontinent. Former coach Nicolai Adam had been grooming the boys before the advent of his suceesor in Luis Norton de Matos. Herein we have put together the results of the matches the India Under-17 side has played under Adam.

First up, the assembled India U-16 national team had a successful exposure trip to Germany where Team A played 14 practice matches and winning eight of those. The 14-1 victory over Rosenheim was the biggest margin win that the boys achieved.

The Team B boys participated in the Under-16 SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship at Sylhet, Bangladesh, where they lost to the host nation in the final.

Thereafter, Team B resumed their training in Goa for a week and played a few practice matches with local clubs.

Adam led India to the U-16 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Championship Qualifiers at Tabriz, Iran, where they had Iran, Bahrain and Lebanon as group opponents. The India Colts would eventually qualify for the Under-16 Championship by winning their ties against Bahrain and Lebanon by 5-0 and 6-0 scorelines respectively. They would however, lose 3-0 to hosts Iran.

Adam then led the team to Spain wherein they faced the youth teams of La Liga clubs such as Villarreal, Levante and Elche. India would win two and lose three of the resultant games.

After the conquest in Spain, the entire squad side were handed a short break. The team would later re-assemble themselves in Goa.

The team headed over for a successful exposure trip to Dubai where they won all five fixtures.

Post the return from Dubai, the team would go on to participate in an exhibition match against Maharashtra XI organized by WIFA (Western India Football Association) in Mumbai. This was the very first occasion wherein the India Under-17 squad were in action with fans allowed to flock in.

The team went on an exposure trip to South Africa. They went on to win three of their matches played in the Rainbow Nation.

In what Adam dubbed as a 'Mini World Cup', the India U-16 team participated in the AIFF (All India Football Federation) Youth Cup in May but fell short of a win to make it to the play-offs. Ahead of the five nation tournament, the India U-16 team beat Odisha U-16 by a 6-0 scoreline and were denied a match as the Goa Football Federation (GFA) refused to field the state U-16 team citing 'under-preparedness'.

The U-17 World Cup squad for the 2017 World Cup U-17 would continue to prepare with more practice matches against junior international teams and clubs in Germany.

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While the Team A continued their Germany sojourn, the Team B boys trained in Goa to participate in the AFC U-16 Championship and travelled to Russia for a friendly as part of the preparation.

Pitted in the group of death, in Group A of the AFC U-16 Championships, alongside the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Iran, India kept their hope alive to progress to the semi-finals to earn a place in 2017 U-17 World Cup by merit.

Adam's boys participated in the BRICS U-17 football tournament where they could not get past the group stage where they lost humbly to Russia and China but succumbed to a strong Brazilian side.

The Indian national U-17 team, scheduled to participate in the U-17 World Cup in India in 2017, continue to play more practice matches including finishing third in the Atletico Paranaense U-17 International Tournament in Brazil and 16th in the XXIX Valentin Granatkin Memorial Cup competition in Russia.

The Granatkin Memorial Cup in Russia would be the last set of games for India's U17 World Cup squad under Nicolai Adam before the German gaffer was sacked by the Indian federation, with less than nine months to go for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup that is to be held in India.

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