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

India U-19 held to a 1-1 stalemate by Kashima Antlers

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

Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

The India U-19 National Team drew 1-1 against Japanese club side Kashima Antlers in the 1st leg of the FAM-Frenz Asia Champions Trophy 2015 semifinals at the Hang-Tuah stadium in Malacca, Malaysia today (October 28, 2015).

Both teams go at level pegging into the 2nd leg of the semifinal which is slated to kick-off in Kashima, Japan on November 4, 2015.

Coming on the back of a four match undefeated streak the Indian colts tried to take the lead in the opening minutes of the match by unnerving the Japanese defence line through relentless pressure. And the colts nearly scored in the 1st minute, following Milan Basumatary’s shot at goal, which was thwarted away by the opponent’ custodian.

Kashima Antlers eventually recouped from a nervy beginning and took the lead in the 18th minute following a corner kick. However seconds later, the India U-19 team equalized their deficit as Rakesh Oram slotted the ball home after a delicious cross by Milan, to make the score-line 1-1.

With the colts squeezing their opponents and intercepting short passes, Kashima Antlers reverted to long-balls.

In the 21st minute, Sajid Dhot made an inch perfect whistling tackle to deny Kashima a sniff at the Indian goal. Four minutes later it was goalkeeper Sayak Barai’s turn to deny Kashima as the lanky custodian made a top-draw save to thwart a Japanese attempt from a corner kick.

The Indian youngsters tried to breach the Japanese fortress thereafter, but to no avail, as both teams went into the tunnel level on 1-1 at half-time.

A battle for possession ensued after the re-start as both teams looked to dominate and take the game by the scruff of its neck, however with both cancelling each other out, neither emerged victor.

The second half barely came in comparison when juxtaposed against an exciting first half. Neither team was able to find the decisive goal and at the end of the time the score-line read 1-1.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)