The Indian U16 national team has bowed out of the 2012 AFC U16 Championship after a 2-2 draw against China.
Colm Toal’s team took the lead in the 14th minute, when Daniel Lalhlimpuia’s shot beat Chinese keeper Chen Wei.
But China levelled the scorline through Wang Jinxian just two minutes later and even took the lead courtesy to a Zhang Yuning goal.
India needed a win to advance to the quarterfinals, but Myron Mendes equalizer came too late to cause any troubles to the Chinese team.
Meanwhile, Uzbekistan lost the other group match against Syria (0-1), which automatically denied India’s way to the quarterfinal irrespective of the own result.
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
0-1 Daniel Lalhlimpuia (19′)
1-1 Wang Jinxian (21′)
2-1 Zhang Yuning (33′)
2-2 Myron Mendes (90’+4′, pen)
12-Chen Wei; 2-Li Hailong (87′ 15-Chen Weiming), 3-Huang Chuang, 5-Li Xiaoming, 11-Liu Hao; 4-Yao Daogang, 10-Chen Kerui (84′ 8-Lin Liangming), 13-Hu Jinghang (90’+4′ 18-Li Zhiheng), 22-Chen Yi; 9-Wang Jinxian [C], 17-Zhang Yuning
1-Chen zhao, 21-Fan Jinming; 6-Yang Liyu, 7-Zhang Xiuwei, 14-Sun Weizhe, 16-Huang Cong, 19-Xu Qigong, 20-Jiang Minwen, 23-Wu Wei
20-Supratim Bhattacharjee; 4-Gurba Gagrai, 7-Mohammed Sajid Dhot, 8-Myron Mendes, 11-Sarthak Golui; 3-Raja Rawat (77′ 21-Issac Vanmalswama), 15-Alen Deory, 18-Germanpreet Singh, 22-Khiangte Lalramzuava [C]; 10-Uttam Rai (87′ 13-Vanlalduatsanga), 14-Daniel Lalhlimpuia
1-Agaipal Singh, 23-Avinash Kumar; 2-Nitin Jyal, 5-Jimmy Maibam, 6-Manraj Singh, 9-Nabin Rabha, 12-Vivekananda Sagayaraj, 16-Kamalpreet Singh, 17-Geremsha Basumatary, 19-Hanan Javed Nellikkavil
Naser Al-Ghafary (Jordan)
Azman Bin Ismail (Malysia), Li Ziliang (Singapore)
Mohamed Abdelkarim Alzarooni (United Arab Emirates)
Le Hoai Anh (Vietnam)
45’+2′ Khiangte Lalramzuava (India)
57′ Wang Jinxian (China)
90’+3′ Hu Jinghang (China)
AIFF MATCH REPORT
Heads – sometimes they droop; sometimes they are held high. Fifteen-year olds all over the World would normally feel guilty after bowling out in a Championship; but not always. Hail India’s U-16 colts. Pitted in a Group with strong contenders Uzbekistan, powerhouse China and West Asian giants Syria, India finished their campaign in the AFC U-16 Championship on a high with a 2-2 draw against China in the last match.
India finished their campaign on two points from three matches while China finished three with three draws from three matches. Syria who beat Uzbekistan 1-0 topped the group while Uzbekistan moved to the quarters as the second team from the group.
Let’s for a moment look at the FIFA Rankings. Uzbekistan are 5th in AFC, China 6th and Syria 21st in the AFC ladder. Compare that with India at 32 in AFC, you need to laud the boys for sure.
Against China which was a must win for India, India surged into the lead in the 18th minute through Daniel Lalhimpuia and rang exit bells for China in the injury time when Myron Mendes converted from the spot in the 93rd minute.
Despite playing all over the Chinese half for most part of the second half, the crowd of legs in the rival defence didn’t allow India break free. India trailed 1-2 at the interval. The thrust of Indian attacks had forced the rivals back. Add to that the second goal conceeded, a deflection of a defender which changed direction to bounce into the net in the 33rd minute, the boys stay unlucky. The hurt and the pain come with it.
But the Indians didn’t give up and eventually were rewarded in the 93rd minute when substitute striker Vanlalduatsanga was pushed inside the box and the penalty was gleefully converted by Myron. A 2-1 score would have ensured China a spot in the quarters.
“When you play as team, rankings don’t matter. The organisation of our boys were good and they supported each other. Our performance proves football is a team game. I’m very proud of our performance,” Head Coach Colm Joseph Toal maintained after the match.
China dominated the proceedings early. Despite a Lalramzuava free-kick in the 3rd minute, the Chinese pushed the Indians into their own half and in the 8th minute, goalkeeper Suptratim Bhattacharya palmed a Yao Daogang shot.
However, India withstood the initial storm and couter-attacked with purpose in the 11th minute but Uttam Rai’s lob found striking partner Daniel Lahimpuia failing to beat the off-side trap. In the very next minute, Germanpreet Singh broke down the left flank but his directed cross was anticipated well by rival goalkeeper Chen Wei.
India eventually surged into the lead when Daniel Lalhimpuia tapped in after being set up by Raja Rawat in the 18th minute. An ice-cool Daniel slotting it home past Chen.
But the joy was shortlived as China equalized two minutes later – Wang Jinxian heading in off a corner.
China were lucky to get the lead in the 33rd minute. A shot directed at the Indian goal by Zhang Yuning was well covered by custodian Supratim but the shot hit stopper Sajid Dhot on his back, changed direction and bounced into the Indian goal.
Changing over, Uttam Rai, with a sudden burst of speed caught the rival defence unaware in the 48th minute but the crowd of legs in the rival penalty box defied him.
The combination of Lalramzuava, Germanpreet, Uttam and Daniel, were by now, moving all over the Chinese half. There was many a close moment for China. But they survived.
The Indians were applauded on their return to their Hotel by the Uzbekistan team contingent who stayed grateful to India for earning them a spot in the last eight. An Indian defeat would have also seen them packing their bags home. But this Indian team is different. They don’t give up till the final whistle. China paid the price for it.