“We were upbeat and confident from the start and understandably there was a lot of excitement on the bench when we took the lead. It was a historic moment,” he stated.
“Undoubtedly Japan has been the best Asian team we have played so far. Their confidence on the ball, awareness and passing ability is exceptional. Taking the lead against such an opposition midway into the first-half is a huge motivation for us for the future,” he added.
“But this isn’t where the team would stop. We know there are miles to go and these boys have the capability to march on,” he stressed on the performance not just being restricted to the day.
India have qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship Malaysia 2018 and are presently on an exposure tour to Jordan, all organised by AIFF in coordination with SAI.
What was the half-time talk about?
“The best part was that the lead didn’t get to the head of the boys. That pleases me. We matched them and as he headed to the locker room after 45 minutes with a 1-0 lead, we were aware of the task we had at hand in the 2nd half,” he stated.
“We knew we would have to do a lot in the second half to maintain it because of the quality they have in their team. Japan had an upper hand in the second half. We tried our best to defend as well as double the lead,” he maintained. But goals from Kuraba Kondo (57th) and Shoji Toyama (64th) seized it for the Samurais.
Bibiano admitted the “quality was a bit too good for us.”
“I knew it would be a difficult task and the boys played their hearts out. But the quality of Japan was just a bit too good for us. We might have lost today but the performance the boys put in today against a team that is rated the best in Asia is really encouraging.”
The Indian colts next play current AFC U-16 Champions Iraq in their next match on Sunday (August 5, 2018).