AFC U-16 Championship QF: 16 years on, India faces same nemesis

The Indian men's U-16 team last reached the AFC U-16 Championship quarterfinal in 2002, where the side lost to South Korea. Can India avenge the loss when the two sides meet again in the same stage on Monday?

India U-16 coach Bibiano Fernandes interacts with his team during a training session.   -  AIFF Media

Indian U-16 men's team will look to seal its berth at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time in its history when it faces South Korea in the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championships on Monday.

India had last made the quarterfinal stage back in 2002, when the tournament was called AFC U-17 Championship. The Indian team, coached by Uzbekistan's Islam Akhmedov, faced the same opponent and slipped to a 3-1 defeat.

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Much like the current team, the Indian side banked on its defensive doggedness to reach the knockout stage and was able to hold its lines against a superior forward line for the first 45 minutes. However, a 50th minute goal from Young Chol Shin opened the flood gates for Korea, with Woo Seok Choi adding two more in 61st and 72nd minutes.

Midfielder Jerry Zirsanga found the back of the net in the 82nd minute to offer India some late respite.

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The current team, coached by Bibiano Fernandes, has managed to keep three cleansheets in the group stage, with 0-0 draws against Iran and Indonesia, and a 1-0 victory over Vietnam. Korea, on the other hand, has also kept three cleansheets, scoring twelve goals including a 7-0 thrashing of Afghanistan.