The India U-16 national football side will look forward to a better outing against Lebanon U-16 in their last AFC U-16 Qualifiers Group E match on Sunday after they were handed a 3-0 defeat by hosts Iran in Tabriz city.
The visitors, led by German coach Nicolai Adam, created a lot of chances against Iran in their group game on Friday, but ultimately failed to take advantage.
India went down a spot to second in the group after the loss, and they are currently on three points from two matches. Iran, meanwhile, moved to the top with six points from their two games.
In the other match of the group on Friday, Bahrain U-16 beat Lebanon U-16 2-1.
Looking back at the 3-0 loss at the hands of Iran, Adam says that his side failed to capitalise on the momentum gained by the big win over Bahrain, but a rematch with the Asian powerhouses Iran next year in India is what he is looking forward to.
The AFC U-16 Championship takes place in 2016 in India between September and October. The four semifinalists from the tournament seal qualification to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
India, being the hosts, automatically qualify for the mega tournament.
"We look forward to having rematch against Iran in the AFC U-16 Finals next year in India," Nicolai told the AIFF's website.
"With due respect to Iran, we played much stronger teams during the exposure teams in Germany and even won. But to win a game like this you need to play without making mistakes, which we were not able to."
Iran led 2-0 at halftime, thanks to goals from Mohammad Sharaifi (16) and Khodamoradi (43). Mohammad Ghaderi pumped another in the 57th minute to give the hosts a comfortable victory on the day.
"It was in the last 20 minutes that we played football. The second goal at the stroke of the interval killed us," Adam continued. "The boys are young and we have time to prepare them for the bigger challenges that stay ahead."
Adam also rued the fact his side could not replicate the performances they put against Bahrain in the first group match, where they earned a whopping 5-0 victory.
"We could not reproduce our good performance which we put up against Bahrain. In my opinion, we lost because we were weak, and not because Iran were strong," the German coach added.
"It was not a good match for both sides as there were plenty of long balls played by both sides while players from this age should play more on the pitch."