India U-16 were beaten 3-1 by the Norway U-17 team in a 2018 SportChain Cup encounter at the FACSA Sports Centre in Benicassim, Spain today.
The first half began on an even footing as both teams tried to assert their superiority in the midfield. But it was Norway which slowly gained the upper hand. A couple of half chances went their way but the Indian defenders were on guard to keep Norway from scoring.
Norway gained confidence as the ball was kept mostly inside the Indian half and the continued pressure paid off as they took the lead from a defensive error in the 20th minute.
India had a chance at the other end in the 29th minute when Givson’s shot came off the post as Rohit Danu put into the next from the rebound only for the linesman to signal offside. Ridge had a crack at the goal few minutes later but his shot sailed over the bar as India made their way back into the game.
India finally had their equaliser when Vikram was brought down inside the box in the 32nd minute. Sailo stepped up and scored from the spot to make things level. The halftime score, 1-1.
The 2nd half began with Norway trying to hit straight away as Niraj Kumar was forced into a save in the 41st minute.
India though answered back with a chance of their own as Vikram’s header missed the mark by a whisker in the 46th. He had another attempt saved in the 50th before Nirak Kumar pulled off a one-on-one save a minute later.
India continued their dominant display after the break as Rohit Danu took aim in the 55th, but his shot too was kept out by the Norwegian goalie. Just when it seemed India are on the cusp of scoring, Norway struck against the run of play to make it 2-1 in at hour mark.
Vikram had a chance to make it level in the 65th but his header was saved by the keeper, so was Thoiba’s from a corner in the 68th as India went in search for their second goal.
India continued to drive forward but Norway struck on the counter in the 75th minute to clinch the match with a 3-1 margin.
India take on USA U-17 tomorrow at the same venue.