AIFF Elite Academy crash out despite encouraging performance against Tottenham
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Elite Academy bowed out of the Frenz international Cup after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of English Premier League U-18 side Tottenham Hotspur in their second round robin match of group D at UTIM Shah Alam stadium, Malaysia on January 6, 2015.
Spurs, came into game as everyone's pick; with their No 18 Ryan Loft clipping the woodwork in the early exchanges of the game. The game geared-up to a rigorous pace keeping the gallery thrilled from top-to-toe with opportunities flowing either ways.
In 13th minute; the error in build-up by Tottenham found Milan Basumatary unmarked. The AIFF forward seemed a certain scorer as he bounded towards rival goalkeeper but hooked a right-footer off target. Amey Ranawade and Rakesh Oram’s diligence on the right wing fuelled the attack and succeeded to break the rhythm of Spur's skilful winger Azaoui Ismail.
The deadlock was broken in the 30th minute, when Harrison Adam scored from the spot when Georgiou Michael was tripped down by Nishu Kumar in the penalty area. At the half-time the score was 1-0.
The second half started with a bizarre attack from the right by Azaoui Ismail succeeding in whipping out Amey Ranwade to set up with a well measured ball to Loft Ryan, the striker effortlessly tapping the ball past the AIFFs goalkeeper to double the lead. The series of attacks were launched in successive moments by Tottenham Hotspur but the AIFF Elite Academy remained indebted the skilful saves from the birthday boy Arshdeep Singh.
The AIFF colts slowly got their foot-hold in the game and successfully pulled one back when Amey Ranawade's pin-pointed cross was flawlessly headed home by Milan Basumatary. Buoyed by that, the AIFF's colts displayed the delightful possession game creating two open chances to equalise in a thick of a moment; Milan Basumatary's low drive and Suman Sarkar's effort both went agonisingly wide off the post.
In search of a late equaliser the AIFF pressed the Spurs much higher; giving the opponents an opening to take-off a counter attack. The hopes of the AIFF was completely shattered when Sterling Barrett added salt to AIFF wounds by scoring a late goal on a cross from Georgiou Michael.
The AIFF Elite Academy will be playing their last game of the group D against hosts Frenz United of Malaysia on January 8, 2015.
(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)