The inaugural BRICS U-17 Football Cup kicked off this evening in Goa and the hosts played Russia in their first game of the tournament. The Russians took the Indian team off-guard early on in the game and scored in the 4th minute.
Dominated by a physically superior side, the young Indian players did well to hold off their opponents for the rest of the game. The Russians dominated possession in the first half, relegating the Indian team to chasing the ball and sitting deep in defence.
The men in blue seemed energised at the start of the second half and were more efficient on the ball. A red card for Russia’s Nail in the minute gave India the advantage but they failed to capitulate.
In spite of enjoying more possession and moving the ball forward more efficiently, the Indians failed to score. Russia seemed content with their one goal lead and sat back letting India do all the work.
The Indian team may have lost tonight but their containment of the Russians for almost the entire match will be heartening ahead of their second game against South Africa.
Dheeraj S. Moirangthem - 7/10
The young goalkeeper conceded a goal as early as the 4th minute but did well to keep shots from Russia out for the rest of the night. He showed great foresight while snatching up balls from his opponents' feet and was a sturdy presence in front of his goal.
Boris Singh - 5/10
Boris Singh put in a good performance for the Indian side trying to move the ball forward but was often pushed off it by his opponents. He managed to deliver a couple of crosses into the Russian box but aimed them far off target.He even made a searching at goal in the first half.
Jitendra Singh – 3/10
Jitendra Singh’s inability to deal with Daniil inside the box resulted in the Russian’s scoring. His early mistake may have cost the team a point but he was better on the ball after the goal. Jitendra’s game was a mixture of hits and misses.
Sanjeev Singh – 5.5/10
Sanjeev Singh was forced to chase the ball for most of the first half with the Russians dominating possession. His movement with the ball became more prominent after the break as he started pressing the Russians more. While one of his free kicks went soaring far above the goal, his second was more a more accurate and measured attempt, coming pretty close to goal.
Suresh Singh – 5/10
Captain of the U-17 Indian team, Suresh Singh had an unimpressive game with no standout moments in his performance. A free kick for him set up by Sanjeev was grossly over-hit.
Khumanthem – 4/10 (out 80’)
Khumanthem’s passing was inaccurate and lost possession of the ball easily when he was put under pressure. He delivered a good cross for Chetri towards the end of the game, but the forward was unable to find his target.
Amarjit Singh Kiyam – 6/10
Kiyam had a better night than most of his teammates. He put in good and sometimes illegal but necessary tackles to keep the Russians at bay. He made a few great runs forwards and won free kicks but failed to use any of them to his team’s advantage.
Komal Thatal – 6/10
The Indian team’s best moment of the night came in the final minutes of the game when he beat two defenders to get away a shot on goal which was just barely off target. Thatal displayed great resilience in moving the ball up the field but suffered because he lost control of the ball too often.
Mohamad Rakip – 3/10
The other defender along with Jitendra who lost control of the box and allowed Daniil to score, Rakip had a night to forget. He was lucky not to concede any more goals against an attack-minded Russian side.
Lalengmawia – 4.5/10 (out 58’)
A few misdirected clearances and one forward run, Mawia, as he is more commonly known, had an average night with nothing to set his performance apart. He struggled to maintain possession of the ball and was physically dominated by the Russians.
Abhijit Sarkar – 2/10 (out 38’)
Sarkar’s inclusion in the starting line-up was surprising and after he spent the first 30 minutes of the game in isolation, was substituted in the 38th minute.
Aniket Anil – 6/10 (in 38’)
Aniket’s introduction on the pitch made an immediate impact on the game. He put pressure on the Russian defenders, running from one to the other. He made an impressive run along the wings in the 90th minute that resulted in a corner. Nail’s foul on him earned the Russian a red card and Aniket himself was booked by the referee.
Aman Chetri – 7/10 (in 58’)
Aman came close to scoring in the final moments of the game when his shot went a little wide off the goal. He got himself in the referee’s book tonight but put up a pretty solid performance for his team once he came on.
Prabhsukhan – NA
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