AIFF Youth Cup: India U-16 go down 1-3 to Tanzania
- India next play the United States on May 19.
India U-16 went down 1-3 to Tanzania in their second match of the Youth Cup football tournament at the Tilak Maidan here on Tuesday.
For Tanzania, Maziku Amani opened the scoring in the 20th minute off a diagonal right-footer which beat a diving Indian goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz Khan. Eight minutes later, Sarif Khan, in an effort to intercept Asad Ali's cross deflected the ball into his own net.
For India, Komal Thatal reduced the margin in the 36th minute, gleefully tapping it in the rebound after Tanzanian goalkeeper Ramadhani had failed to gather it properly.
However, Tanzania sealed it two minutes after the resumption. Asad Ali curling in a free-kick from just outside the box.
Speaking at the post-match media conference, Tanzanian coach Bakari Shime said India "looked tired".
"They were technically better than us. But we beat them for fitness. They looked tired and drained out after their 2-2 draw against Malaysia" he said after the match.
India assistant coach Eitebar Ibrahim said it was a "bad day" for us. "We have trust in our boys. The opponents deserved to win. We were not at our best," he said.
"Our main focus stays the AFC U-16 Championship and the FIFA 2017 U-17 World Cup. Mistakes at this stage happen. The boys are learning," he added.
India were off the blocks faster. In the first minute itself, Komal hoodwinked his marker but his placement went wide.
For India, the easiest chance of the match fell in the 70th minute. Aman sneaked in between the two defenders and had Ramadhani at his mercy. But in an effort to finish off fast, he muffed it.
With India having staged a spectacular comeback against Malaysia in the last 10 minutes, everyone was hoping for another. But Tanzania held firm In fact, had their strikers maintained calm, they could have scored a couple, or maybe even three more.