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L&T thank Generation Amazing for standout Workers' Cup show

Larsen & Toubro, one of the standout performers in the group stages of the 2017 edition of the Workers' Cup, have attributed their early tournament form to the technical skills imparted by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).

The India-headquartered company – who have won all their three group matches scoring an impressive 24 goals – have been recipients of the Football for Development coaching curriculum devised by SC's flagship CSR programmeGeneration Amazing to improve the life skills of Qatar's workers through football.

 larsen and toubro thanks

As they prepare for a mouth-watering derby on Friday's Round of 16 knockout clash against "brothers" from the Al Balagh-L&T Joint Venture side, the L&T captain and coach believes the tips passed on by SC's master coach Michael Richardson could carry them all the way this year. 

Captain and winger Abdulaziz Sulaiman, a community coach in Generation Amazing's football coaching programme, says the formation adopted by Workers' Cup team coach Steve Kwasi has helped him and most of his teammates to utilise their new-found efficiency in holding the ball up.

"Thanks to Generation Amazing coach Michael's technical assistance, I have considerably enhanced my ability to keep the ball in crowded spaces," revealed Sulaiman. "Some of my teammates are also part of the Generation Amazing coaching, as players, and have improved their skills in retaining possession. Therefore, our Workers' Cup coach has used a possession-based philosophy for the tournament. I am sure this approach will help us win the title this year after we fell short at the semifinal stage in 2016."

 larsen and toubro thanks

Kwasi's strategy for the tournament is founded on the possession skills of Sulaiman and fellow winger Ibrahim Mousa as they cut in from the right and left respectively to combine with centre-forward Baba Abdul Momeen. The three-pronged Ghanaian forward line has proved in the group stages that they have it in them to better the team's 2016 feat. 

"I started with a 4-4-2 in the first game but realised I was not maximising my players' possession skills," said 33-year-old Kwasi, a former professional footballer from Ghana who moved to Qatar 15 months ago. "I then switched to a 4-3-3 for the next two matches and thereafter we have created so many chances and our forwards have combined well to score 22 goals. 

Kwasi added: "Sulaiman and Mousa are very good in keeping the ball as they cut inside and combine with Momeen. The midfield and even the defence have supported the possession-based approach. Most of the boys have been in the Generation Amazing football coaching and have benefited immensely."

 larsen and toubro thanks

That Larsen & Toubro have a celebrity admirer of their skills to keep the ball – international football freestyler Sean Garnier – is indicative of the strides they have made in this aspect.

"I spent an hour interacting with the team and I am impressed with the way some of the players keep the ball," said Garnier, a Generation Amazing ambassador. 

"They have a real feel for the ball, which is the most important attribute in keeping the ball after mounting tackles and challenges."

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Sulaiman, Momeen and Mousa compare themselves to Barcelona's famous Messi-Suarez-Neymar front trio. 

Going by what they have achieved in the group stages, it is conceivable that on 31 March, the day of the Workers' Cup final, Kwasi could experience the emotions which welled up in Luis Enrique after the 2015 UEFA Champions League final.

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