India U19 finishes last in Granatkin Memorial tournament

The under-19 boys lost to 1-0 to Tajikistan in the 11-12th playoff decider on Thursday.

India lost to Tajikistan, thereby finishing last in the tournament.   -  AIFF Media

The India U19 national team lost 1-0 to Tajikistan in the 11-12th play-off decider of the Granatkin Memorial Tournament at the Turbostroitel Stadium on Thursday.

Tajikistan midfielder Panzhiev Ozodbek's stellar finish in the 40th minute was enough to seal its win against India.

Coach Floyd Pinto, who was forced to make some changes in the starting line-up owing to the prolonged injury of Ninthoi and Vikram, brought in Jitendra Singh in the defence and also gave Sailo Lalchhinhima his first start of the competition.

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Akash Mishra, who had already scored a couple of goals in the tournament, made a run down the left flank but his cross wasn't put to use by Givson, who was operating as a floater in the midfield.

Tajikistan earned its first corner in the 14th minute but the shot was collected by skipper Prabbhsukhan Gill. Two minutes later, Kamolov Amadoni unleashed a right-footed volley from long-range but it went haywire.

On a counter-attacking move, Tajikistan broke the deadlock in the 40th minute as Panzheiv Ozodbek blasted the back of the net from a curling right-footer from the top of the box. Gill had no answer to the fabulous shot, as Tajikistan went 1-0 up.

Tajikistan maintained the slender lead to head into the changing room at the end of the first half.

Two minutes after the resumption, Tajikistan could have doubled the lead but Akash's exquisite goalline clearance left them aghast. As Gill tried to punch the long corner away, it fell to Elmurodov Shuhrat, who produced a deft effort that was cleared by Akash to keep the scoreline unchanged.

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Danu showed more intent in the second half but his low cross for Jeakson, who could have exploited it, but the defensive midfielder failed to gain control of the ball, with around 30 minutes of regulation time left.

Gill came out with some saves in the last ten minutes to deny the Red outfit from extending its lead and eventually Tajikistan held on to their 1-0 lead until the final whistle to seal their first win of the competition.

India U19 team: Prabhsukhan Gill (C) (GK); Muhammed Rafi, Jitendra Singh, Akash Mishra, Robin Yadav; Ricky Shabong (Sanjeev Stalin 68'), Jeakson Singh, Sailo Lalchhanhima, Givson Singh; Harmanpreet Singh, Rohit Danu.

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