India start their campaign in the inaugural edition of the BRICS U17 football tournament against Russia at the Bambolim Stadium in Goa on Wednesday. The Indian colts are led by Nicolai Adam.
The Government of India initiative is a precursor to the U17 FIFA World Cup, to be held across the country next year. India come into the tournament at the back of a not-so-very-good result in the recently-concluded AFC U-16 Championship, where they picked up just a point off three games.
"We did a long analysis for the AFC U-16 Championship and there are some technicalities that we need to work upon," commented Nicolai. "We need to hunt actively for the ball and once we have the ball, we need to keep it better. Our philosophy is to score as many goals as possible but in order to score we need to have possession," he stated.
The Russia youth side, who won matches against Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova in their qualifying campaign of the FIFA U17 World Cup, 2017, are not at all an easy side for India to get past. "Russia are a fantastic team and we respect them as opponents," the German coach continued. "They (Russia) finished their qualifying campaign with nine points and we look forward to giving them a hard fight come tomorrow."
Russia, meanwhile, are cherishing taking on hosts India and putting up a brave fight. "We are expecting a tough challenge from India. However, we are ready for the tournament as we come on the back of a tournament in France and had participated in the UEFA Development Tournament as well," Russian Head Coach Dimtry Ulyanov said.
Russia vs India is set to kick off from 8 pm IST on 5 October.
Where to watch live
India: TV - DD Sports