THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

AFC U16 Championship: India 0-0 Syria

India U16

The Indian U16 national team were held to a goalless draw by Syria in a Group D match of the on-going AFC U16 Championship in Tehran.

India started off well and they were keen to secure a win against the West Asians. Khiangte Lalramzuava hit the post off a freekick in the early moments of the game to give the Indian team a first momentum.

But Syria slowly unfolded their game plan and took control of the game after 15 minutes into the game. None of the teams were able to open the scoresheet in the first half and the scoreline remained 0-0 at the breather.

The Indians were a much improved side in the second half and the boys caused a few problems to the Syrian defence. But Colm Toal’s boys were denied a goal for their spirited performance and the matche ended 0-0.

More details and match report to follow here on this page shortly…

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2012 AFC U16 Championship
at Rah Ahan Stadium, Tehran, Iran






20-Supratim Bhattacharjee; 4-Gurba Gagrai, 7-Mohammed Sajid Dhot, 8-Myron Mendes, 11-Sarthak Golui; 3-Raja Rawat (66′ 21-Issac Vanmalswama), 15-Alen Deory (74′ 17-Geremsha Basumatary), 18-Germanpreet Singh, 22-Khiangte Lalramzuava [C] (66′ 2-Nitin Jyal); 10-Uttam Rai, 14-Daniel Lalhlimpuia

Unused Subs
1-Agaipal Singh, 23-Avinash Kumar; 5-Jimmy Maibam, 6-Manraj Singh, 9-Nabin Rabha, 12-Vivekananda Sagayaraj, 13-Vanlalduatsanga, 16-Kamalpreet Singh, 19-Hanan Javed Nellikkavil

1-Khaled Ibrahim; 2-Obeda Sharbek, 14-Moumen Naji, 21-Jehad Bssmar, 23-Mahmoud Karzoun; 6-Ahmad Ashqar, 8-Tarek Almohammad Hndawi [C], 19-Bakr Ghalyoum (78′ 7-Omar Mshhdani), 20-Mohamad Baraa Diyar Bakrli; 9-Mohamad Rabee Srour (58′ 15-Khaled Kourdoghli), 11-Abdulatef Salkeni (74′ 5-Fahmi Hasan)

Unused Subs
16-Alaa Al Omar, 22-Abdullah Alishak; 3-Abdullah Jniat, 10-Ali Baaj, 12-Fares Almozal, 13-Shahin Mohamad, 17-Subie Alhusni, 18-Mohamad Alomran



Strebre Delovski (Australia)

Assistant Referees
Paul Adam (Australia), Nawaf Shaheen Khalifa Theyab Moosa (Bahrain)

Fourth Official
Salah Mohamed Noor Shaikh Abbas Alabbasi (Bahrain)

Match Commissioner
Le Hoai Anh (Vietnam)



Yellow Cards
5′ Mahmoud Karzoun (Syria)

Yellow-Red Cards

Red Cards



It’s time to ponder about the overall development of Indian football. Talked about in every circle at length, the pity stays it stays evident only away from home in AFC Championships whenever age-group teams play. But the eye never lies. Never! What you witness forces you to be optimistic about the future. Tuesday (September 25, 2012) was such.

As both the teams stood for the National Anthem ahead of India’s second magtch in the AFC U-16 Championship, the difference stayed evident. Blessed with better physique, the Syrians had looked invincible prior the kick-off; and once it kicked-off, their tactical and aggressive nature, further came into prominence.

But organisation caught them on the wrong foot – the Indian organisation all over the field. A true team effort all throughout the 90 minutes earned India their first point in the AFC U-16 Championship as India were held to a goalless draw by Syria. India stay very much alive in the Tournament at the moment.

The team effort which put up the organisation planned to perfection by Colm Joseph Toal, could have even earned India full three points if not the post had stood to deny Lalramzuava off a freekick and had some of those headers off setplays not conspired against India.

The start just couldn’t have been better. Not overawed by the physical presence of the Syrians, most of who were almost 6-feet, the nippy Indians played among themselves at a fast pace and restricted the game to the rival half.

The initial thrust almost paid dividends when in the sixth minute, captain Lalramzuava’s free-kick from the edge of the box beat all only to hit the post and bounce back. Three minutes later, rival goalkeeper Khaled Ibrahim gathered it in time before either Sarthak Golui or Uttam Rai could pounce upon.

The blocking in the midfield proved  to be exceptional. The middle-four coordinated with the back four and the Syrians were getting frustrated. Further, the distribution into the vacant areas stretched them, the result of which in the 31st minute, the Indians came agonisingly close to netting one of many Lalramzuava’s curlers.

Three minutes later, striker Daniel Lalhimpuia got past the rival stopper but the latter recovered just in time to prevent Daniel from having a crack as the slate remained clean at the interval.

Changing over, Sryia pressed early and broke into the Indian box a couple of occasions within the first three minutes but the Indians regrouped.

In the 50th minute, a diving Khaled kept off a Alen Deory effort and the very next minute, Uttam Rai’s touch just got that bit longer as he had almost got past rival central defender, Jehad Bssmar, who stood tall almost throughout.

In the 73rd minute, Uttam broke past the entire defence but the Syrians managed to hold fort.

In the last 10 minutes, Syria went all out but the Indian organisation prevailed over their efforts.

India play their last Group League match against China on September 27, 2012.