The India U17 Men’s National Team delivered a breathtaking performance to win over hosts Qatar U17 in the second friendly match at the Aspire Academy in Doha. These matches were held as a part of their preparations for the AFC U17 Asian Cup final rounds, which is scheduled to be held later this year.
Qatar had won the first friendly match convincingly by a 3-1 scoreline on Saturday. But they were humbled in this game very early as Indian defender Ricky Meetei Haobam converted an excellent free-kick in the 10th minute of the match.
India increased the pressure on Qatar with constant pressing and Danny Laishram almost doubled the lead when another free-kick from outside the 18-yard box whistled past the post. But the Indian youngsters didn’t have to wait too long as a rebound off Qatar goalkeeper Shoaib was successfully tapped in by Shashwat Panwar.
The opportunity was created by Gurnaj Singh Grewal’s cross, which was shot by captain Korou Singh Thingujam. The rebound off Shoaib was then converted by Panwar, which was also his second goal in as many matches.
The second half of the match wasn’t as action-packed as the first one. But India did create a couple of good chances again as Danny struck a superb shot that was collected by Qatar custodian Shoaib, and then Panwar’s effort also went just marginally wide off the goal post. Indian goalkeeper Sahil had a pretty easy day, but he made a superb acrobatic save in the 71st minute of the match.
Malemngamba Singh Thokchom, Vanlalpeka Guite, Gogocha Chungkham and Lalpekhlua substituted in the final 15 minutes of the match. But there was some action left as Korou scored India’s third goal in injury time via a superb through ball made by Guite. India won the match 3-0 and made amends for their loss in the first friendly game.