On a high after their successful tour of the Netherlands, the AIFF Under-16 Kalyani Regional Academy boys put up a spirited display against Kolkata giants East Bengal U-17 team in a hard fought 1-1 draw at the Kalyani B Stadium on Saturday, September 6.
Two first half goals on either end in the space of two minutes saw the match end in the balance for both the outfits. East Bengal surged ahead through Feroz Ali in the 20th minute, Ali stabbing home from close.
But response from the 2013 SAFF U-16 Champions, who recently beat Dutch heavyweights FC Twente on their Holland sojourn, was immediate as a good move down the left resulted in the opponents handling the ball inside the area for the referee to point towards the spot. Seasoned penalty taker Prosenjit Chakraborty – who scored thrice from the spot in a single Asian Champions Trophy tie – stepped up and made no mistake beating the keeper low to his right.
Change of ends saw no change of the scoreline as both teams went gung-ho for the elusive winner in the dying minutes.
These Academy Boys who form the core of the India Under-16 National Team played in two tournaments in Holland, namely the 19th International RKTVC BVO Tournament for U-16 Boys where they famously beat FC Twente by a goal to nil in the second group match, and prior to that the International Youth Tournament (HSV Odin 59’) in Heemskerk in which they reached the semifinals.
In between they lost by only a goal to hallowed German outfit FC Schalke 04 U-16 counterparts in a friendly match, earning praise from their youth coach Eren Yilmaz who was ‚pleasantly surprised‘ by the display of the Indians.
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)