Internet Desk:The Indian U-16 National Team lost their second match of the BRICS U-17 Football Tournament as the Colts went down fighting 0-1 against South Africa at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.
Ndamolelo Radzilani’s 23rd minute header was enough to secure three points for the South Africans. Meanwhile, Nicolai Adam’s boys remain fourth in the table, courtesy of higher goal difference than China, despite being level on points – 0.
After the opening minutes of the match featured end-to-end football with neither Team being able to take advantage, even while testing each other’s custodian, South Africa caught the Indian defence napping in the 23rd minute. And the ‘Amajimbos’ took the lead when Ndamolelo Radzilani headed the ball home after a swift counter-attack, much against the run of play, from the left flank.
A flurry of Indian attacks came next, but some last second South African defending mixed fused with committing men in defence, saw the Indian Colts blank infront of the opposition goal.
Aniket’s rasping shot after Aman Chetri played him on goal was denied by some acrobatic defending by the South African defence line as Luke Fleurs flew in to block Aniket’s shot in the 31st minute.
Ten minutes later, Boris whipped in a cross from the right flank after speeding past two opposition defenders, but his delicious cross made half contact with Aniket’s shot and was saved.
With India dominating the latter half of the first half, but failing to take opportunities, Nicolai Adam’s boys went into the tunnel at half-time trailing by a solitary goal to nil.
Not for the ones for reeling, the Indian Colts upped their ante in the second half and in the 54th minute Ninthoi’s shot earned an uncanny save from the South African custodian and had Aniket arrived a second early, the ball would have been home. However, the South Africa custodian recouped and gathered the ball.
Four minutes later, Aman Chetri met Sanjeev’s cross from the left flank with a cheeky header, but the African custodian this time made no mistake to deny India the chance.
India pressed hard for the equalizer and even after the German Coach made two attacking changes, the Colts could not find the decisive goal and the South African defence stood strong to see out the match, as the full-time scoreline read 1-0 in South Africa’s favour.
India’s starting XI against South Africa: Dheeraj Singh (GK); Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Mohammad Rakip; Sanjeev Stalin, Suresh Singh (C), Ninthoi Meetei, Amarjit Singh, Komal Thatal (73’ – Lalengmawia); Aman Chhetri (82’ – Abijit Sarkar), Aniket Jadhav (82’ – Joysana Singh).