SAFF U-15 football championship: India emerges champion

Striker Sridarth Nongmeikapam scored a hat-trick as India routed Nepal 7-0 in the final of the SAFF under-15 football championship at the Kalyani Stadium on Saturday.

India U-15 team after winning the Saff football championship in Kalyani on Saturday.   -  Twitter/Indian Football Team

Striker Sridarth Nongmeikapam scored a hat-trick as India routed Nepal 7-0 in the final of the SAFF under-15 football championship at the Kalyani Stadium on Saturday.

India’s third title victory made it the most successful side in the history of event. It had claimed the crown in 2013 and 2017 in Nepal.

India remained unbeaten and scored 28 goals without conceding any in five matches.

The host led by only one goal — thanks to Maheson Singh’s excellent 15th minute- strike — for most part of the first half.

READ: Favourite India takes on 'improved Nepal'

Amandeep and Sibajit Singh shot home close to the break to help India take a 3-0 lead at half-time.

Nongmeikapam stole the limelight in the second-half. He pounced on a chance inside the box to score his first in the 51st minute. After Himanshu Jangra’s 65th minute goal, Nongmeikapam took a through ball to dodge the Nepal goalkeeper and score his second. He completed his hat-trick from a low cross in the 80th minute.

Jangra bagged the highest-scorer award with seven goals.

India will participate in the AFC under-16 championships 2020 qualifiers, scheduled from September 18 to 22. India has been drawn in Group ‘B’ with host Uzbekistan, Bahrain and Turkmenistan.

The result

India 7 (Maheson 15, Amandeep 42, Sibajit 45, Sridarth 51, 76, 80, Jangra 65) bt Nepal 0.

# India’s third title victory made it the most successful side in the history of event. It had claimed the crown in 2013 and 2017 in Nepal

# India remained unbeaten and scored 28 goals without conceding any in five matches

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