Goa: India coach Nicolai Adam is dreaming of a place in the quarter-finals at the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 as the hosts gear up for their must-win final Group A clash against Iran at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Wednesday.
More than 4,000 spectators – the highest attendance at the continental youth competition since 2010 – turned out to see captain Suresh Wangjam’s penalty deep into injury time claim an emotionally charged 3-3 draw with Saudi Arabia on Sunday to secure India’s first point of the campaign and keep their last-eight aspirations alive.
Adam’s side must now overcome Iran, who top Group A alongside United Arab Emirates on four points, to have any chance of advancing to the knockout phase for only the second time after also reaching the quarter-finals in 2002.
“It will be a very difficult match against Iran but we will give it our best,” said Nicolai Adam ahead of the clash.
“There have been a lot of results at this tournament that have not been expected. Honestly, I believe it can happen. If you can imagine it and believe in it then it is possible and that is how we will go into the match.” he added.
Standing in the hosts’ way will be an unbeaten Iran team who go into the mouthwatering fixture knowing that a point will seal their place in the next round.
Abbas Chamanian-coached side, though, let a one-goal lead over UAE slip as the tie ended 1-1 and ensured their own fate would also be decided on Matchday Three.
“We are not going into this match looking for a point, we’ll play offensively and we are only thinking about three points from the game against India”. said Abbas Chamanian.
“We’ll be looking for a victory from the first minute. We respect India but we have one goal and that is to reach a higher level.” he added further.