Host India began with a flying start in the opener of the SAFF Under-15 football championship thrashing Nepal 5-0 at the Kalyani Stadium here on Wednesday. India’s fifer came through Maheson Singh (6 minute), Shubho Paul 24’, Anish Mazumder 41’, Taison Singh 50’, and Sridarth 56’. It was an all-round display by the Indian boys as five different players scored for the Blue Colts. The home side started off swiftly, as Maheson cut in and unleashed a fierce right-footer that rocketed into the goal six minutes into the game.
After an initial spell of domination, Maheson made his way down the right flank in the 24th minute and crossed it in for Shubho Paul to tap it in from inside the 6-yard-box. Just before the end of the first half, India struck again, this time, through captain Anish Mazumder, who leapt above the rest of the pack and nodded the ball into the net.
Taison curled in a fourth for India five minutes after the restart as the home side was awarded a free-kick outside the area. In the 56th minute, Sridarth was played into the box, as the youngster slipped the ball past the opposition keeper to make it five. India’s head coach Bibiano Fernandes praised his team’s attacking intent in the post-match press conference.
Sridarth is the player who has been scoring goals on a regular basis, but it’s the effort of the entire team that has helped us in getting this result. I am really happy for the guys who scored the goals today,” Fernandes said after the match. India under-19 defeat New Caledonia 4-1 to set up summit clash with Tahiti
New Delhi: Team India under 19 with a well-deserved 4-1 victory over U-17 World Cuppers New Caledonia, continued their winning run in the ongoing OFC Developmental Tournament at the Korman Stadium in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Wednesday. Vikram Partap Singh (17’) opened the scoring early before Aman Chetri (41’) doubled the lead. India maintained the urgency in the attacking third and eventually, scored two more, thanks to the composure shown by Ricky Shabong (74’) and Gurkirat Singh (79’) inside the box.
Lues Waya (83’) converted the spot-kick but it could not deter the inevitable.
Coach Floyd Pinto who, on the other day advocated about building a
‘core team’ before the upcoming SAFF Championship, fielded an
unchanged team who got the better of hosts Vanuatu two days ago.
For the opening goal, Ninthoi burst into a defence-splitting run from
the left and the resulting pass was calmly converted by Vikram Partap
Singh from handshaking distance in the 17th minute.
Aman Chetri scored another with five minutes before half time to put
India in a driver’s seat at the end of the first half. Givson took a
short free-kick to Ninthoi, who floated in a looping ball for Thoiba
and the defender calmly placed in on a platter to Aman. The striker,
having cut his marker loose, tapped it home to double the lead.
After the resumption, India didn’t show any intent to change the gear
and continued to push to extend the lead. Coach Pinto, to assess his
bench-strength, introduced Jeakson, Ravi Rana and Manvir Singh upfront
withdrawing Aman, Givson and Vikram respectively.
Ninthoi, the craftsman behind both goals, played a significant role
behind the goal by Ricky Shabong too. He intercepted a feeble
goal-kick and rolled it to the 18-yard-box. Manvir laid it off and an
onrushing Ricky didn’t hesitate to blast it into the back of the net
in the 74th minute.
Five minutes later, defender brought down Manvir inside the box and
the referee didn’t think twice before blowing her whistle and awarding
the Blue colts a spot-kick. Super-sub Gurkirat Singh, with his usual
composure, outfoxed the goalkeeper to send him the wrong way.
Sumit Rathi, in the 83rd minute, got into the referee’s book owing to
a challenge on an opponent attacker and Lues Waya scored the only
consolation goal for the Oceanian country from the 12-yard spot.
India will face-off with Tahiti for the 1/2 place play-off at the same
venue on Saturday (August 24, 2019).
India Starting XI: Prabhsukhan Gill (GK) (C) (Biaka Jongte 74’);
Thoiba Singh (Sanoop 74’), Bikash Yumnam, Md. Rafi, Sumit Rathi;
Jitendra Singh, Ricky Shabong (Gurkirat Singh 74’), Ninthoi Meitei
(Hormipam 74’), Vikram Partap Singh (Manvir Singh 61’), Givson Singh
(Ravi Bahadur Rana 61’); Aman Chetri (Jeakson Singh 61’).