The India U16 team went down 0-1 to USA in their final match of the Sportchain Friendlies at the FASCA Sports Centre in Benicassim, Spain.
India began the match with a bang as the ball came off the post in the 4th minute itself, but USA came back strongly earning back to back corners. A long ball by Thoiba found Ridge in the clear but his shot was kept out.
Rohit Danu put in a dangerous cross but the US defenders averted danger as they went on the counter. The move paid dividends as they scored in the 16th minute to take the lead.
Givson found himself in a one-on-one situation in the 22nd but he was unable to convert the opportunity. India piled on the pressure as they looked for the equalizer. USA though fought back with a series of corners of their own.
The half ended with Sailo shooting it wide from Givson’s cross as the score read 0-1 in USA’s favour.
India came out robustly in the 2nd half, earning a couple of corners to put the US backline under serious pressure. Vikram let one loose in the 44th minute but his shot went wide.
USA had a chance to double their lead in the 46th minute but their forward player scuffled a simple tap in. The Americans continued to assert themselves as they got few set-pieces opportunities but Jongte who came on as a substitute to replace Niraj kept them out.
Jongte ensured that India didn’t concede more as he rose to the occasion to keep Bibiano’s boys in the game. Saves in the 70th and 73rd minute making sure the scorekeepers weren’t troubled.
With pressure piling, Vikram rose above the defenders to head it towards the goal but his effort was denied by the goalie in the 75th minute. A free-kick in the 77th minute went wide as the hopes of an equalizer ended.
India U16: Niraj (GK) (Jongte 41’), Shabas, Gurkirat, Harpreet Singh, Moirangthem Thoiba, Ricky (Lalrokima 68’), Givson (C), Sailo, Ridge (Ravi 68’), Vikram, Danu
AIFF Press Release