All eyes are set on the colts of Indian football as the host country take on the USA in their first match in FIFA U-17 World Cup. The historic moment will be graced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. More than 50,000 people is expected to be present at the venue on the opening day of the event to see India debut in their Group A match. The first match in the Group A will be played between Columbia and Ghana. Simultaneously, Group B matches will be played in Navi Mumbai between New Zealand vs Turkey and Paraguay vs Mali.
This is a watershed moment for a nation that does not even send a football team to the Asian Games. India, as host country, is prepared to take on much formidable sides under their Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos. The Indian junior travelled extensively over the last two years playing a variety of opponents in different parts of India and abroad. They even played a match against USA in the process that they lost 4-0.
“It is a huge moment for India to be participating in the World Cup. But this is only the first step towards the future,” De Matos said while speaking to the media pre-match press conference.
On the other hand, USA have participated in 15 of the 16 editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, having only missed out in 2013. Their best performance came at New Zealand 1999, where they came fourth. They have their star player Joshua Sargent who was the youngest American player to play for the U-20 USA team.
However US coach John Hackworth is not taking India lightly. In the pre-match press conference, the American said, “India are a very hardworking team and the home conditions coupled with the massive home support is bound to help them up their game on the day.”
The India U-17 squad, got an emotional message from the senior team skipper Sunil Chhetri.
“It’s a chance that most of us will almost certainly never get and you have to forgive us for being jealous of you. But pride is the bigger feeling here. We are not going to give you wisdom about dealing with pressure or taking none of it. You have trained hard and this is your time. Take the stage, we will take the stands. Come On, India!,”
PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata.
After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata.
In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer.
Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream.
So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.