India U-16 National Team emerged champions in the Jockey Cup International Youth Invitational Football Tournament when they defeated hosts Hong Kong U-17 4-2 in their final match in Hong Kong today (March 25, 2018). The tournament was an U-17 event where India fielded their U-16 National Team.
A brace from Bekey Oram in the first half and goals from Rohit Danu and Lalrokima in the second-half settled the issue for India. This was the team’s third consecutive victory in as many days, the team having earlier defeated Chinese Taipei (4-0) and Singapore (3-1).
The team coached by Bibiano Fernandes is presently unbeaten in 22 matches which includes friendly matches against National Youth Teams and International Club and Academy sides.
The youth tournament was a part of series of International exposure tours planned by the All India Football Federation along with the Sports Authority of India to provide the best preparation for the squad in their quest to qualify to the next edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The U-16 boys have already qualified for the AFC U-16 Finals from where the top four teams will make it to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
All India Football Federation General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das congratulated the team on their achievement. “My heartiest congratulations to the boys and the coaching staff. I am excited by the performance of this team but now they have much sterner tests ahead,” he said.
“AIFF is committed to developing youth football and once again I express my gratitude to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for their wonderful support in our endeavours,” he added.
The team which had earlier been on exposure tours to Dubai and Qatar now head to Spain where they will be playing in a tournament which includes short-format league matches plus a knockout elite tournament. The tournament will also be participated by clubs/academies of the likes of FC Barcelona, Manchester United, UC Sampdoria, Villareal CF, FC Shakhtar Donetsk, etc.
The boys thereafter play the Sport Chain Cup in Spain which is a 4-nation single round tournament against the National sides of USA, Norway and Morocco.