The India U-16 National Team’s first friendly match against UAE U-16s at the UAE FA Stadium in Dubai ended in a 3-0 win for the hosts on Thursday (January 21, 2021).
Goals from Youseef Balushi, Mohammed Al-Maamari, and Mohamed Abdelsalam Issa sealed the deal for the home side.
It was a quick start to the game with both sides taking the initiative to attack. India striker Himanshu Jangra tried his luck early on, as he pulled the trigger from outside the box, but it was saved by the opposition keeper.
The home side took the lead on the 10th minute, however, when Sultan Adel Mohamed nodded in a cross from Youseef Ibrahim Al Balushi.
India press on for the equaliser, with midfielder Taison Singh playing a pivotal role on the attacks. Time and again, the young playmaker attempted to make inroads with his passing game, but the efforts were eventually foiled by the UAE defence.
India were awarded a free-kick from close range minutes ahead of the half-time whistle, but the shot was eventually saved by the opposition keeper.
India kept pressing forward after the change of ends, and put the UAE defence under a lot of pressure. Midfielder Ebindas Y, and substitutes Maheson Singh and Shubho Paul all had an attempt each at the UAE goal go wide.
The Blue Colts’ goalkeeper Som Kumar also got in on the action, when he kept his side in the hunt with a fine save that foiled a one-vs-one opportunity for UAE.
However, UAE doubled their lead with less than quarter of an hour left on the clock, as Ali Mohammed Saeed Al-Maamari slotted it home.
Mohamed Abdelsalam Issa sealed the win for UAE with a minute left on the clock, when he nodded in a corner to make it 3-0 in favour of the home side.
The U-16 sides of India and UAE are slated to play a second friendly on Sunday, January 24, 2021.