Five Things to Know About the India U-17 MNT

Watch the U.S. U-17 MNT Open the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup vs. India on Friday, Oct. 6 at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS2, UNIVERSO
2017 India U-17 MNT
2017 India U-17 MNT

The United States Under-17 Men’s National Team opens the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup against India on Oct 6 in New Delhi, India. The match will be televised live on FS2 and UNIVERSO at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Here are five things you should know about the USA’s opening opponent in New Delhi:


India has reached the U-17 World Cup for the first time in its federation’s history. The Blue Tigers only previous major FIFA tournaments came in the 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960 Olympic tournaments. The nation’s best finish was a fourth place showing in 1956. As hosts, India will look to capitalize on home field advantage and national support.


India’s 21-man roster for the U-17 World Cup features 20 domestic-based players, along with one player from Toronto FC in goalkeeper Sunny Dhaliwal. Sixteen of the 20 domestic-based players come from one club, AIFF Academy.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sunny Dhaliwal (Toronto FC/CAN), Prabhsukhan Gill (AIFF Academy/IND), Dheeraj Moirangthem (AIFF Academy/IND)

DEFENDERS (6): Anwar Ali (Minerva Punjab FC/IND), Hendry Antonay (AIFF Academy/IND), Namit Deshpande (AIFF Academy/IND), Jitendra Singh (AIFF Academy/IND), Sanjeev Stalin (AIFF Academy/IND), Boris Thangjam (AIFF Academy/IND)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Rahul Kannoly (AIFF Academy/IND), Amarjit Kiyam (AIFF Academy/IND)

Lalengmawia Lalengmawia (AIFF Academy/IND), Ninthoinganba Meetei (AIFF Academy/IND), Nongdamba Naorem (Minerva Punjab FC/IND), Abhijit Sarkar (AIFF Academy/IND), Mohammad Shahjahan (Minerva Punjab FC/IND), Komal Thatal (AIFF Academy/IND), Jeakson Thounaojam (Minerva Punjab FC/IND), Suresh Wangjam (AIFF Academy/IND)

FORWARDS (2): Rahim Ali (AIFF Academy/IND), Aniket Jadhav (AIFF Academy/IND)


A 63-year old native of Lisbon, Portugal, Luís Norton de Matos has been in charge of the India U-17 National Team since March. Prior to taking over the U-17’s, de Matos was the head coach of C.F. União for two years. Coaching since 1989, de Matos’ vast array of managerial experience includes stints at Atlético (POR), Étoile Lusitana (SEN) and Benfica B (POR).

As a former professional Portuguese soccer player, de Matos’ primary position was that of a forward. In 1982, de Matos made five appearances for the           Portugal national team and scored one goal. Playing professionally from 1972-1987, de Matos’ longest club tenure came from 1981–1984, where he made 75 appearances for Portimonense S.C., scoring 19 goals.


As the host country, India received an automatic berth into the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The team did, however, host and compete in the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship. Here’s a look at their results:

Group Stage

Sept. 15

2-3 L vs. United Arab Emirates

Sept. 18

3-3 T vs. Saudi Arabia

Sept. 21

0-3 L vs. Iran

During the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship, India saw five different players each bag a single goal. Of the five players, four made the final FIFA U-17 World Cup roster: forward Aniket Anil Jadhav, midfielders Boris Singh Thangjam and Suresh Singh Wangjam, and defender Sanjeev Stalin.

2017 India U-17 MNT


In a recent teleconference call with media, U.S. U-17 MNT head coach John Hackworth spoke on what to except from The Blue Tigers:

“All three of those games present different challenges to us. We’ve played India once before, we were successful against them, but it wasn’t in the opening game of the World Cup, it wasn’t them hosting a World Cup. My feeling is that, and from the information I’ve heard, there’s going to be a very loud crowd. They are already, above anything else, an incredibly athletic and hard-working team. We are going to have to beat the host country in the opening game with a lot of the ceremony around that and that is a difficult challenge.”