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Our Philosophy Is To Play The Game And Win The Match: Komla, Head Coach Mali U-17

Wednesday, 25 October 2017
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Jonas Kokou Komla, the Head Coach of Mali U-17 team described their Semi-Final opponents Spain as a ‘big team’. Speaking during the pre-match press conference ahead of their FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 semi-final at the DY Patil Stadium today (October 25, 2017), Komla showed respect towards the European side.

“They are a big team, a very good team” as he kept it short and simple when quizzed about tomorrow’s opponent. “Yes Spain is a big team. So don’t want to underestimate the opponents and the rest we will see tomorrow”, he further added.

Mali played two of their Group stage encounters at the DY Patil, when asked whether this familiarity will give an edge to his side, Komla wasn’t coy to admit it. “We have played here before and we know the pitch very well but it’s a World Cup Semi Final match against Spain who are a very good team. But yes we will carry a little advantage.”

Mali have been mostly destructive in attack having scored 15 goals with 43 shots on-target. They have clearly looked to go and get the goals. This attacking mindset was echoed by the coach.

“Our philosophy is to play the game and win the match. And that’s how we have been playing and will play. Even after losing to Paraguay, we have been playing with the same system and will play according to our philosophy.”

With both teams having lost their opening encounters, Spain to Brazil and Mali to Paraguay, their rise to the Semi-Finals have been remarkable.

“Yes they have lost their first match and so did we. But now it’s all about winning the next two matches. We will treat both as finals and will need to win both of them”, almost blowing the war bugle for his young side.

Having beaten Ghana in Guwahati, the travel to Navi Mumbai must have been a long one. But Komla didn’t seem to bother about it, “This is how football is. It’s the work of the doctors and physio to prepare the players. And all the players are ready for the match tomorrow.”

As mentioned earlier having played in Navi Mumbai earlier, the coach also expected to receive some local support from the fans. “They were good last time around. Hopefully the supporters in Mumbai will bring some good luck charm for us”, as he signed off.

The 2nd Semi Final encounter of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 kicks-off at 8.00pm IST.