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

India U-16 hammered 3-6 by Malaysia's Harimau Muda

India U-16

Prosenjit Chakraborty’s hattrick went in vain as Harimau Muda rode on some fine strikes either side of half-time to down AIFF XI (India U-16) 6-3 in a Group A match of the Asia Champions Trophy at the Barasat Stadium on Saturday, June 7.

All of Prosenjit’s hattrick goals came from the spot while for the visitors Najmuddin Samant notched a brace in his side’s resounding win.

The match started at a frenetic pace and stayed such throughout the first period with as many as five goals being scored and two sending offs. It all started in the 6th minute when Harimau Muda’s corner was nodded in by Hafiy Haikal Ismail into the roof of the net to put the visitors’ noses in front. But the Malaysian outfit failed to protect their advantage felling AIFF XI midfielder Anirudh Thapa inside the box eight minutes later. The Referee had no hesitation in pointing towards the spot. Prosenjit Chakraborty stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.

But Harimau took three minutes to go in front again. Najmuddin Samant leaped highest to send home a delectable floater from the right with Goalkeeper and Captain for the day Dheeraj Singh at full stretch. The match and its pace took a turn when much to disappointment of the crowd, Referee Thoriq issued marching orders to Amit Tudu. From the resultant free kick, Dinesh Rajasingam curled in low shot to the keeper’s left.

Down to ten men and trailing by two goals, the boys in blue had their backs to the wall. But the verve and determination of the 15-year olds was laudable. Shoulders far from drooping; the Kalyani Regional Academy Boys raised their game by a notch in the last quarter of the match.

Of the flurry of raids at rival citadel by the blue brigade, Thapa was brought down once again inside the box. Another spot kick and this time also Prosenjit did his reputation no harm swiftly tucking in a low shot into the right corner. Spurred by the reduction of arrears, the boys sniffed blood and went all out. Jerry’s short corner was fed back to him and from a diagonal angle just outside the box the Mizoram lad tried his luck, which forced the visitors to make a goalline clearance. Tantalizingly poised, the match entered its half-way mark.

The pace – as if tired – took a dip in the second period. The hosts pushed hard for the equaliser but the visitors sat back and defended sturdily.

Against the run of play, Najmuddin scored his second making a solo run inside the box and the turning his marker to poke home with Jayananda Singh diving for a last-ditch interception. Two goals deep into the match made it 6-2 for the visitors with both Kogileshwaran — from the spot and Najib Abdullah finding the back of net in quick succession.

Some consolation though came in the last minute of added time when Prosenjit – for all his assiduity – scored from the penalty spot for the third time to net his third of the match.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)