The India U-19 national team has won its AFC U-19 Championship Group A qualifier against Nepal on Sunday.
India coach Colm Toal didn’t make any changes to his starting line-up in comparison to the first game against Qatar two days ago.
The Indian team started off well, while putting early pressure on Nepal. Kumam Udanta Singh almost gave India the lead in the 11th minute, when the striker tried to beat Nepalese keeper Alan Neupane with a chip. But his attempt missed the target under the watchful eyes of mostly Nepalese fans in the stands.
Nepal were forced to stay back in their own half for most of the first half as the Indian team displayed their superiority. It took them 33 minutes to produce the first attempt on Vishal Kaith goal, when a shot by skipper Asim Jung Karki missed the target.
India failed to take any advantage of their superiority in the first half and both teams were locked to a goalless draw at half-time.
The Indian colts wasted too many chances up-front in the early stages of the second half and one had the feeling Nepal could hurt Colm Toal’s team with one successful counter-attack in the remainder of the game.
India continued to have more possession, but lacked the final touch to create any danger on the Nepalese goal while keeper Alan Neupane was on alert when India produced any promising attempts.
Substitute Alen Deory had India’s best chance in the second half, when his on-target was superbly saved by Nepal’s keeper in the 83rd minute.
India finally broke the deadlock, when everyone was expecting a goalless draw. S.K. Faiaz finished off a great counter-attack with a shot from the edge of the area to give India a 1-0 lead in the 87th minute.
India should have won the match by a bigger margin, but the colts were lucky to win the match with a lone goal after missing so many chances in the match.
India will take on Uzbekistan in their next match on October 10.
Meanwhile, Uzbekistan have defeated Turkmenistan 1-0 in another Group A match earlier today.
AFC U-19 Championship 2014 – Qualifier | Group A | Al Arabi Stadium, Doha (Qatar)
NEPAL U-19 0-1 INDIA U-19
0-1 S.K. Faiaz (87′)
1 Alan Neupane – 2 Ramjali Kalu Thapa, 4 Bishwas Shrestha, 26 Sanjay Rajbahak (82′ 3 Basnet Bibek), 16 Aditya Chaudhary – 8 Suman Lama, 9 Anil Gurung (28′ 12 Ram Thapa), 11 Heman Gurung, 19 Sulav Maskey – 10 Asim Jung Karki [C], 17 Dhiroj
6 Niraj, 15 Bhushan, 20 Brijesh Kumar Singh, 22 Birenda Bahadur Chand
47 Vishal Kaith – 2 Gurba Gagrai, 4 Pawan Kumar, 6 Sajid Mohammed Dhot, 23 Soraisam Pritam Kumar Singh – 14 Souvik Das [C], 17 Germanpreet Singh, 45 Lalrempuia Fanai – 10 Kumam Udanta Singh, 11 Daniel Lalhlimpuia (59′ 34 S.K. Faiaz), 32 Shaiborlang Kharpan (69′ 18 Alen Deory)
3 Nim Dorjee Tamang, 5 Sarthak Golui, 7 Lalramzauva Khiangte, 9 Uttam Rai, 12 Chinmaya Shekhar Behera, 16 Joseph Lalfakzuala, 19 Isaac Vanmalsawma Chhakchhuak, 36 Naro Hari Shreshtha, 44 Rupert Lamlang Nongrum, 48 Supratim Bhattacharjee
Dmitrii Mashentsev (Kyrgyzstan)
Issa Mahmoud Ahmad Alamawi (Jordan), Mohamed Jaafar Mohamed Salman (Bahrain)
Ali M. H. M. T. Shaban (Kuwait)
Hamed Momeni (Iran)
AIFF Match Report
India rode a late strike from substitute SK Faiaz to script a well-deserved victory against neighbours Nepal in their second match in Group A of the AFC U-19 Championship (Qualifiers) here at the Al Arabi Stadium on Sunday (October 6, 2013).
India now have three points from two matches.
“It was a great performance. We showed that we are a 90-minute Team,” Head Coach Colm Joseph Toal said post match.
“I thought we dominated the game for long spells. Even if we would not have won, I would have been happy for the way these Boys played tonight. The fact that we got a goal in the last five minutes shows their strong character too. There was a lot of support for Nepal. It was a great learning experience for them,” he added.
Collecting possession from just outside the box after Gurba Gagrai had slipped in a delicious pass; Faiaz sped past defenders and made no mistake in slotting home from close range with goalkeeper Alan Neupane only managing to deflect his shot into the goal.
It was like a home match for the Nepalese as a strong 5,000 odd spectators turned up to get behind the Red Shirts.
India though were not overawed by the away-match feel. On the offensive from the word go, Captain Souvik Das dinked a cross inside the area for Kumam Udanta Singh who scooped his 11th minute effort over the bar.
Nepal could hardly make any inroads as Colm Toal’s wards turned on the heat on their ‘noisy’ neighbours with back-to-back corners kicks.
Of the three Germanpreet flag-kick floaters from the right, Udanta drilled his shot wide, Shaiborlang Kharpan could not connect and Daniel Lalhlimpuia hit a defender.
“It was only after the half hour mark did the Nepalese find their footing. Suman Lama ballooned his 35-yard screamer, while Asim Jung Karki failed to make the most of a counter attack, curling his left-footer wide of the target.
Every time Nepal had possession inside India’s half, the crowd broke into raptures. But the Indian backline was unfazed. While centre backs Pawan Kumar and Sajid Dhot climbed tallest every time the ball was floated inside the 18-yard box, full backs Gurba Gagrai and Pritam Singh closed down the wide midfielders well apart from going on the overlap whenever possible.
It was goalless at halftime.
India’s best chance of the game came at the beginning of the second half. Gurba and Udanta combined on the right to tee up Daniel inside the area only for Nepal custodian Alan Neupane to close down the striker’s snapshot in time.
Moments later Souvik’s looped effort from the edge of the box dipped just over.
Looking to maintain the tempo, Coach Toal brought in fresh legs in the form of SK Faiaz in place of Daniel in the 59th minute and Alen Deory replaced Kharpan ten minutes later.
Nepal huffed and puffed throughout the second period as India piled on the pressure. Faiaz was guilty of a poor first touch and wasn’t alert on two occasions.
Trying to curtail India’s industry in the final third, Nepal brought in more numbers behind the ball.
Udanta’s stinging grounder went inches off target while Deory headed agonisingly wide.
India were finally rewarded three minutes from regulation time with Faiaz crowning a great display with a fine strike.
India play Uzbekistan next on October 10, 2013.