Indian Colts thrash Lebanon

The Indian U-16 team pummelled Lebanon U-16 6-0 in its last Group E league match of the AFC U-16 qualifiers in Tabriz City, Iran, today. Suresh Singh Wangjam was the pick of the Indian players, scoring a fantastic hat-trick.

The Indian U-16 squad, which had an impressive outing in Iran.

The Indian U-16 football team pummelled Lebanon U-16 6-0 in its last Group E league match of the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers in Tabriz City, Iran, today. Suresh Singh Wangjam was the pick of the Indian players, scoring a fantastic hat-trick. Goals from Komal Thatal, skipper Amarjit Singh Kiyam and an own goal from Lebanon’s Habibb rounded off the hiding.

In the other Group E encounter, Iran beat Bahrain 6-0 to top the group.

India went into the break with a 1-0 lead thanks to a smashing finish from Suresh in the 29th minute. It was an indication of things to come, as the second half saw a goal fest from the colts. Four goals (including the own goal) came between the 71st and 80th minutes. Suresh drove the final nail in the coffin with a sublime finish in the 89th minute.

The results in Iran (two wins and a loss) will hold the under-16 team, managed by German Nicolai Adam, in good stead, ahead of the AFC Under-16 Championship, which will be held in India from September 15 to October 2, 2016.

Eleven group winners and four best second-placed teams (to be announced in due course) will join India in next year’s finals, with the tournament host receiving an automatic qualification. Should India finish among the four best second-placed teams, the fifth best second-placed nation will qualify for the final competition.

The same set of players is expected to graduate and form the bulk of the Indian U-17 squad when the country hosts the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2017.

The starting XI: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem (Goalkeeper); Boris Singh Thangjam, Jitendra Singh, Mohammed Sarif Khan and Gaston (Defence); Suresh Singh Wangjam, Khumanthem, Amarjit Singh Kiyan (Captain), Komal Thatal and Sanjeev Stalin (Midfield); Aman Chetri (Forward).