India’s U-16 team secured its status as champion of the SAFF U-16 Championship 2023, defeating Bangladesh 2-0 in a high-octane final.
Bharat Lairenjam found the net in the first half, while Levis Zangminlun sealed the victory with a second-half goal, ensuring a comfortable win for India.
Guided by head coach Ishfaq Ahmed, the Blue Colts had a sparkling run throughout the championship not conceding a single goal throughout the tournament.
In the final match against Bangladesh, India displayed tactical prowess and control to secure the win.
India’s initial breakthrough came early, just eight minutes into the match. Levis Zangminlun provided an incisive through ball to forward Bharat Lairenjam, who slotted the ball between the legs of Bangladesh goalkeeper Mohammad Nahidul Islam to score.
India kept the pressure on in the first half, but failed to score, mostly due to some smart work by Islam.
India started the second half with the same intensity. Its relentless search for another goal bore fruit in the 74th minute with a sublime strike.
Samson Ahongshangbam initiated a promising move down the left wing before expertly switching play to send the ball to Levis Zangminlun on the opposite flank. Engaging in a swift one-two pass with Vishal Yadav, Zangminlun outmanoeuvred his defender to find himself in open space. Taking a moment to set himself, he then unleashed a devastating left-footed strike that sailed into the back of the net, doubling India’s advantage and sealing the win.
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