The India U-16 national team showed their mettle against the Uruguay U-17 National Team in their last match of the round-robin stage in the Atlético Paranaense U-17 International Tournament, before suffering a narrow 1-2 defeat to the South American heavyweights.
After conceding two goals in either side of the break, Komal Thatal halved the difference but the staunch Uruguayan defence contained the Indian attackers without much fuss till the final whistle.
Nicolai Adam made one change in the starting eleven from yesterday’s (December 13, 2016) match against Atlético Paranaense, handing Lalengmawia his first start in the tournament over Aman Chetri.
The Indian players started their defensive work with utmost proficiency but the Latin American outfit defeated Md. Nawaz in the 14th minute from a well-taken free kick floated fro the right flank.
India got their first opportunity from a free kick, but Sanjeev’s curling effort went abegging.
After the changeover, India came very close to penetrating the Uruguayan defence when Ninthoi and Lalengmawia coordinated well but the later failed to slot it home eventually.
Nawaz, who made a terrific effort to keep the scoreline unchanged in the 55th minute, was heavily exposed when the second goal was scored a few minutes later.
Two minutes later, the glittering moment for the Indian dugout arrived when Komal Thatal percolated the sturdy Uruguayan defence to notch the first goal for his team in the tournament.
Previously, Komal scored the only goal against Brazil in the BRICS U-17 Football Tournament in Goa. Today, the youngster showed his affinity to scoring against the Latin American outfits once again.
After scoring the goal, the Indian colts suddenly changed the gear in their pursuit of the equaliser but the resilient Uruguayan defenders showed their composure to see off the danger till the final whistle.
India are slated to face the juniors of the two-time FIFA World Cup winners once again in the first Semi-final at 22.00 IST on December 16.
(AIFF Report & Photo)