The Indian U-19 National Team played a goalless draw against Yemen in their second match of the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers at the Prince Mohammad bin Fahad Stadium in Dammam, Saudi Arabia today, to open their points tally for the Qualifiers.
It was all Yemen in the first ten minutes of the match as India’s opponents dominated possession and kept threatening the Indian citadel. The Indian defence line however dealt with most of the danger, whilst Dheeraj Singh’s safe hand kept Yemen at bay. The young Colts grew in the match and in the 14th minute, Boris Singh beat his marking defender to run onto a vacant flank, only for his cross to go aloof of Rahim Ali’s head.
Four minutes later, Rahim Ali set up a shot for Amarjit from outside the box, but the latter could only shoot wide of the goal. In the 29th minute, Rahim Ali switched play and found Ninthoi on the flank, who released a pass for an onrushing Suresh Singh. Suresh, from outside the box, failed to test the Yemen custodian as the ball flew over the bar.
Both teams tried to breach other’s citadel but were held at bay by the defensive lines as the half-time scoreline read 0-0.
India had a glorious opportunity to take the lead early in the second half when Rahim Ali was released onto goal. With only the Yemen cutsodian to beat from a tight angle, Rahim Ali shot straight at the goalkeeper resulting in an easy save in the 46th minute.
Four minites later it was Abhishek Haldar’s attempt from inside the box that went inches past the goal after Suresh had found him with an inch perfect cross from the wings. In the 55th minute, Dheeraj Singh was called into action and the custodian did not disappoint as he made an acrobatic save to keep out Yemen.
India held the Yemen attacks at bay whilst started to dominate possession. Chances however became rare for both the teams as the end-to-end tempo resulted in neither getting a clear attempt at goal. At the end of time, nothing could separate the two teams as the full-time scoreline read 0-0.