Late goal gives Indian U16 boys a win against Vietnam

Skipper Vikram Singh earned and converted the penalty late in the game to lead India to a win in its first AFC U-16 Championship match.

Skipper Vikram Singh's late goal helped the Indian U-16 boys to a win over Vietnam in its first AFC U-16 Championship match.   -  Twitter/IndianFootball

Vikram Singh’s 86th-minute penalty gave the Indian U-16 boys a 1-0 win over Vietnam in its first AFC U-16 Championship group stage match at the UM Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today.

Vikram's late strike from the spot led the Blue Colts to a deserved win over the opponent, in a match where India dominated possession and had four clear goals scoring chances.

The U-16 Colts could have taken the lead as early as the 8th minute through Vikram, when Gurkirat Singh's long ball found Vikram inside the box. Vikram’s shot latched onto the ball with ease but saw his shot go inches wide of the goal.

In the 17th minute, Ricky Shabong went close to opening the tally for India but his shot went wide of the goal.

Vietnam threatened through counter-attacks frequently but the Indian defenders paired with Niraj Kumar’s goalkeeping held strong.

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At the 25th minute mark, with India dominating the proceedings, Gurkirat attempted a shot from distance that was saved by the opposition's custodian. Ten minutes later, India had another excellent opportunity when Ravi Rana’s cross found Vikram in the box, but Vikram’s attempted shot - from a tight angle - went over the bar.

Vietnam almost fell prey to a howler in the 40th minute when an attempted back pass to its goalkeeper was intercepted by Ravi, who was denied by a perfectly timed sliding tackle from the keeper.

The goalless first half meant both teams went into the break on level terms.


Inda upped the ante and hit the bar early in the second half when an attempt from a corner touched the crossbar and went out. Minutes later, Bekey Oram saw his effort sail over the bar.

The first substitution for India saw Lalchhanhmia Sailo replace Ricky Shabong in the 61st minute, and the substitute - eager to make his mark - shoot wide a minute after coming on.

Four minutes later, Sailo broke free of the Vietnamese defence and found himself face-to-face with the goalkeeper but he failed to find the back of the net, forcing the goalkeeper into a decent save from close range.

In the 83rd minute, Vikram was brought down inside the box and India was awarded a penalty kick. The skipper found the back of the net to break the deadlock and give India the crucial lead late in the game.

India held on to its lead to register its first win of the group stage and will face the Iran next on Monday, September 24.


India U-16’s starting XI against Vietnam:

Niraj Kumar; Shabas Ahamed, Thoiba Singh, Bikash Yumnam, Gurkirat Singh; Ricky Shabong (61’ – Lalchhanhima Sailo), Givson Singh, Ravi Rana (76’ – Bhuvnesh Shendre), Bekey Oram, Vikram Singh (C), Ridge De’Mello



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