AFC U-19 qualifiers: India blanks Turkmenistan 3-0

The Indian U-19 team ended its AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers with a 3-0 win over Turkmenistan in the last match of Group D, here at the Prince Mohammad bin Fahad Stadium on Wednesday.

India's 3-0 win ensure it ends the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers with four points from three matches.    -  AIFF Media

The Indian U-19 team ended its AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers with a 3-0 win over Turkmenistan in the last match of Group D, here at the Prince Mohammad bin Fahad Stadium on Wednesday.  

Skipper Amarjit Singh’s 74th minute strike, Abhishek Halder’s 80th minute tap-in and Edmund's late strike in 92nd minute underlined India's dominance in the away fixture.

It was all India in the first half of the match as the fired up colts dominated possession in the final third and created goal scoring chances at will. As early as the second minute, Nongdamba Naorem had waltzed into the opposition box, only for him to lose possession in a jungle of Turkmenistan legs.

In the 13th minute, Rahim Ali’s rasping shot from inside the box was easily saved by the Turkmenistan custodian, after a defender took the sting out of it, as India continued to press for an early lead. Seven minutes later, Ali was at it again. However, lady luck continued to evade him as his effort was thwarted once again.

With India continuing to dominate proceedings, the defence line mopped up Turkmenistan’s counter-attacks, providing freedom to the Indian midfield to go forward. In the 26th minute, Amarjit set up Nongdamba Naorem, but Naorem’s shot from outside the box just evaded the target.

Turkmenistan rarely threatened the Indian citadel, but when it did through set pieces, the Indian defence dealt with it easily. Both teams went into the break goalless.

The domination seemed to continue in the second half as well, when in the 51st minute Boris Singh had India's best chance. After playing a one-two with Abhishek Halder, Boris was clear onto goal but could only shoot wide of the framework.

The host almost broke deadlock in the 58th minute, as it almost punished the lax Indian defence with only the crossbar saving the visitor's blushes.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 74th minute, after Amarjit Singh blasted the ball home to give India the lead. The host went two down in the 80th minute, as Abhishek Halder doubled India’s lead after tapping the ball into an empty. Halder received a pin-point cross from the right flank and gleefully put his name on the scoresheet.

The Indian colts had to absorb stern Turkmenistan pressure in the dying minutes as the host desperately searched for a way back into the game. India though held on and completed the rout in the 92nd minute through Edmund.

India's 3-0 win ensure it ends the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers with four points from three matches. 

 

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