AFC U-16 Championship 2018, Quarterfinal, India vs South Korea: Preview, Date & Time, Where to Watch
The Indian colts will be chasing history as they lock horns with South Korea U-16s in the quarterfinal clash of the ongoing AFC U-16 Championship. If they are to win this encounter then they will secure a place in the FIFA U-17 World Cup next year. This will be a matter of immense pride for the entire nation as they will create history in the process.
There were a plethora of exposure tours which had been organized by the All India Football Federation along with SAI in the run-up to the tournament in order to prepare the Indian colts. All those efforts seem to be paying off well now. There have also been a lot of positive takeaways as India amassed 5 points in the group stage -- their highest ever points tally in the history of the AFC U-16 Championship -- with 1 win and 2 draws.
The Indian colts were placed in Group C along with Indonesia, Iran, and Vietnam. Indian skipper Vikram Partap Singh has scored the only goal for India in the competition so far and it came in India's first match against Vietnam. Goalkeeper Niraj played a crucial role for India as he has made 1 penalty save, kept three clean sheets and made 16 saves in the competition so far.
India held Iran and Indonesia both to 0-0 draws, thereby securing a point-a-piece from these two matches. Indonesia also had 5 points but finished on the top of Group C by virtue of a better goal difference. This meant that India would lock horns with South Korea in the quarterfinal match.
South Korea won all their three matches in the group stage -- the first 3-0 against Australia, the second 7-0 against Afghanistan, and the third 2-0 against Iraq. Hong Yun-sang, Choi Min-seo, Ahn Gi-hun, and Jeong Sang-bin have scored two goals each in the group stages and the Indian defenders are sure to have a tough time keeping a check on them in the all-important quarterfinal clash.
The tactically strong South Korea will be the favourites going into the tie while Bibiano Fernandes' boys will be the underdogs. This will undoubtedly be the toughest challenge for the Indian U-16 team in the competition. Ghosts of the past would tell them that it was the same team that the Indian colts had lost 1-3 to in 2002 in the same stage.
However, Head coach Bibiano Fernandes is full of confidence and trusts his boys to do well:
"We have always believed that a solid defense is the foundation of football. Our defense has been our strenth in the tournament and the players have played as a cohesive unit. We are also creating chances at will and we created some of the best goal scoring opportunities of the match against both Iran and Indonesia. We know that Korea Republic are the favourites and we are the underdogs but we have been the underdogs since the group stages. We will fight, back ourselves, play without pressure and give everything that we have in the match against Korea Republic."
If the Indian colts win the match then they will face Tajikistan in the semifinal.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming quarterfinal clash of the AFC U-16 Championship:
Date: October 1, 2018
Event: India vs South Korea, Quarterfinal, AFC U-16 Championship
Time: 6:15 PM, Indian Standard Time
Venue: Petaling Jaya Stadium, Malaysia
Broadcast: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD
You can also Catch ALL the LIVE updates of the match on Sportskeeda!
Do you think the Indian colts will create history by entering the semifinal of the AFC U-16 Championship? Do share your opinions in the comments section below.