KAZAKHSTAN – BELARUS 0:0
January 19th, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 150 spectators
Best players: Miras Tuliyev, Gleb Rassadkin
Post match comments
Serik Abdualiyev, Head coach of team Kazakhstan:
– All the guys did well today. They perfectly realized that both Belarus and us are outsiders so far. But we had chances to fight for the first place, so "the battle is worth the blood". And though we had quite many moments at our goals, we also managed to threaten the opponent's goal area. The game was interesting, combat-like, with sharp moments from both sides. The draw must be logical.
– You lost the previous game and you got a draw today. Ahead you have a match with Kyrgyzstan who will be fighting for the awards. Whereas the Belorussians will play Moldova who have already qualified to the final from the first place. Who will find it more difficult?
– Do you know what today's game was interesting with? Both we and the Belorussians had a chance to take the first place. But since we've lost the points today, we have chances to fight for medals. And given a successful game against Kyrgyzstan we can take the second place. The same layout is for the Belorussians. And we will play to win.
– It seemed that your players lacked fast decisions, one-touch play, spending much time with the ball. Is that due to lack of skills or haven't they still managed to get fit?
– A bit of everything. We have been working for only 12 days. The guys have just come from vacations. So they are still not ready, including the matter of quick thinking. And on the other hand, this is our common disaster – of all the post-Soviet states. When the country fell to pieces we lost a great number of players and coaches. And it's only now that we start to restore this "hole". We've got pitches now, and good training bases, and football centres. And we have to start dealing with the problem of thinking quick starting with the youth football.
– Free kicks performed by your team leave much to be desired. You hardly used law passes preferring to play high balls. Did you lack time to train any combinations?
– We didn't have enough time to train standard kicks. And it is this "you must not lose" psychology of our players which makes them play carefully here. Most probably the matter is their psychology.
Igor Kovalevich, Head coach of team Belarus:
– In terms of organization we played better today compared to the game with Kyrgyzstan. We had chances that we should have converted. Generally speaking I am satisfied with the quality of our play. I am even happy. The only thing we did not manage was to score. But this is to praise Kazakhstan for. They were defending well and their goalkeeper played well. I think both teams deserve this result.
– We've seen many different teams of your country in this tournament last years and also this year U-17 team played in Granatkin Memorial. We got an impression that the Belorussian teams can play more interestingly, but for some reason they tend to start playing simple trying to sort everything out with just two passes...
– First of all, we brought ten new players here. We want to get new connections on pitch to work. Secondly, we did not have an opportunity to train under the roof. We are having a youth tournament in Belarus and we had only one day to practice in a sports complex. That's why when we arrived here from the fresh air to the building we were suffocating and could not breathe right, could not run fast. The new players also didn't completely get used to the team and we didn't have time to arrange the play and to get to feel the shape of the folks. The result is the most important for us and we want to achieve something. But we were late to organize the play. I think it's going to be OK further on.
– It was only in the end of the match when you took the initiative, took the game in your hands and managed to put pressure on the opponent's goals. Was it in your game plan or did you just use the fact that Kazakhstan got tired?
– No, it was not in our game plan, but we made substitutions and fresh players appeared on the pitch. It was them who began pressuring the opposing defense. And though I was unhappy with the play of some of my guys last game, today they looked rather well. Having more fresh energy, we got to press the opponent, but did not score.