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

India U-19 team qualifies for SAFF U-19 Championship semis

India U-19 National Team
India U-19 National Team

Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

The India U-19 National Team qualified for the semi-finals of the 2015 SAFF U-19 Championship as they defeated Maldives 3-0 on Tuesday (August 25, 2015) at the ANFA HQ in Satdobato, Nepal.

The Indian colts will now clash swords against Bangladesh on August 27, 2015 for a spot in the Final of the Championship, which is slated to kick-off on August 29, 2015.

Following close on the heels of a splendid 2-0 win against Afghanistan, the Indian team once again fused attacking fluidity with defensive solidity, as they edged out their opponents.

Dominating possession from the start, the India U-19 team earned a free-kick in the opening minutes of the match in a dangerous position. Although the free-kick went abegging, the colts continued to pile the pressure and raid the opponent’ citadel.

A drilling Moinuddin header in the 10th minute, following a delightful cross from Japis, went whiskers wide of the goal.

Edging ever closer to the goal, the Indian colts hit the woodwork in the 20th minute as a blasted free-kick rattled the crossbar.

With the colts maintaining their pressure and pushing their opponents to play inside their own box, dividends, sooner or later, had to come. And it did in the 41st minute of the match when Moinuddin latched onto a loose ball, only to slot home comfortably past the custodian.

A penalty kick late into the first half went abegging for Maldives and at half-time the scoreline reflected 1-0 in favor of the Indian team.

Changing over, and the colts doubled their lead in the 46th minute, when Lalramzuava slotted his ball home, following a cut-back by Daniel.

Minutes later India came close to tripling their lead as Sarthak’s shot ricocheted off the post, after an uncanny clearance from a corner kick.

Controlling the tempo of the match, the Indian team put their tie to bed as they tripled their lead in the 71st minute, when Anirudh Thapa scored a beauty from long-range, following a cut-back from Prashant.

A sterling Indian performance was safeguarded by the defence, and at the end of full-time the scoreline read 3-0.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)