The Indian U16 football team has been in good form lately. They have done really well at the previous exposure tours they have been on, impressing one and all. Cumulatively, these are aiding the team to hone their skills for the upcoming AFC U-16 Championship, that is set to take place in Malaysia, in September.
Their start at the China tour, however, was with a 0-1 loss to hosts China in the inaugural match.
The Blue colts still have a lot of positives to take away from the first match as they played really well against the U17 China team. The Indian defense was resolute and maintained their focus throughout the game. The Chinese team were constantly launching attacks from the flanks, but the defenders were up to the challenge.
The only goal of the match came from individual brilliance, which was a beautiful long-range shot by a Chinese player, and the Indian players could not really do much about it.
Besides this solitary goal, little separated the two sides and it was an evenly contested battle.
Sailo, Gibson, and Rohit Danu all came close but failed to make the most of the opportunities. India definitely created more opportunities and Rohit missed a sitter. The Indian forwards certainly need to be more clinical in the final third if they want to win their forthcoming matches.
One will feel that India were a little unlucky as well in the first match, as Ridge DeMello's shot came off the woodwork. Considering that it was a strong U17 national team, backed by the 5000-odd home crowd, the boys have to be lauded for creating so many chances. What's more is that they have consistently played as a unit and that is the core strength of the team.
The Blue colts will be looking to put this match behind them as their next challenge is in the form of the Thailand U16 team. After an initial upset, the Under 16 team will be looking to bounce back strongly in the contest. Following is a shot of coach Bibiano Fernandes in an animated discussion with the boys prior to the match against Thailand.
Here is all you need to know about India's second match of the China Tour:
Date: July 5, 2018
Match: India U16 vs Thailand U16
Timing: 1:30 PM Indian Standard Time (IST)
Venue: Wei Nan, China
Television Channel: No telecast
Will India be able to win their second match of the China Tour? Who will be the most likely goal scorer for the Blue Colts? Do share your opinions in the comments section below.