AFC U-16 Championship: Players who could turn things around for India

Here are three Indian players who could play a key role in Monday's must-win AFC U-16 Championship encounter against South Korea.

India captain Vikram Singh scored the team's only goal of the group stage against Iran.   -  Twitter @IndianFootball

The Indian U-16 men's football team takes on South Korea in the quarterfinal of the AFC U-16 Championships on Monday.

Coach Bibiano Fernando had said "we have always believed a solid defence is the foundation of a football team" and the team has proved just that. The Indian defence has been the side's prowess, having maintained three clean sheets in as many matches.

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The attacking line hasn't been as effective though, with its lone goal coming in the side's opening group stage tie against Vietnam.

Here are three Indian players who could play a key role in Monday's must-win encounter against South Korea.

1)  Vikram Partap Singh: The Indian skipper has led the team from the front and has scored India's only goal at the tournament so far. It was his surging run against Iran that won him a penalty, which he duly converted.

He will look to combine well up front with Ridge De’Mello to try and get past the dogged South Korean defence, which is yet to concede a goal.

2) Niraj Kumar: The Indian goalkeeper has has a good tournament so far, with the highlight being the fine penalty save he produced against Iran in the second match, giving India its first draw against Iran in 33 years.

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While the goalkeeper from Punjab has done well to not concede so far, he will have to be on top of his game against South Korea given that the side been prolific in front of goal and has scored 12 goals in the group stages.

3) Ricky Shabong: Having started in all three matches, Ricky is among the vital cogs of the Indian defence. He is a tough defensive midfielder who isn't scared of making strong tackles and will be instrumental on Monday.

“I will give my hundred per cent on the field for the nation. We are gunning to create history and we are confident that we can do so. Every match is tough. We will take one match at a time,” said the 15-year-old ahead of the tournament.

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