After the high of hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup and participating in that event for the first time ever, the Indian colts are now preparing for their next assignment - the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers. In preparation for their qualifying match next week, India travelled to Qatar to play a one-off match against the U-19 side of Al Ghara. India won the game 3-1 in a match played at Doha, the capital city of Qatar.
Majority of this Indian U-19 team comprises of the U-17 members which recently participated in the World Cup. The Luis Norton De Matos-managed side started the game brilliantly and was dominating possession from the word go. Rahim Ali, the Indian forward scored a first-half brace while Al Ghara's goal was sandwiched between two of Ali's strikes.
India went into the break with the scoreline being 2-1 and the performance levels being as per the demands. Princeton Rebello scored the third and gave the visiting side a cushion in the second half. The final quarter of the game saw India slow the pace of the game which resulted in zero shots from them on Al Ghara's goal. The Qatari side were trying to press but looked second best in offence and as well as, in defence.
It was a commanding display from the defence and the midfield along with Rahim Ali who finished his chances with perfection. This victory also was the age group's first win since the victory over Mauritius in early September. This practice game will serve as a springboard to work upon for these talented youngsters who will now face Saudi Arabia in the AFC Championship qualifier on the 4th of November.
India's starting XI against Al Ghara:
Dheeraj Singh, Sahil Panwar, Suresh Singh, Anwar Ali, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Rahim Ali, Naorem, Asish Rai, Roshan Singh Naorem, Princeton Rebello, Abhishek HalderPublished 31 Oct 2017, 12:28 IST