|Team India start with a defeat against Sri Lanka, South Asian Games|
South Asian Games 2016
India U-23 0-1 Sri Lanka U23
India enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and dominated most of the proceedings but inability to convert the chances cost them dear.
Sri Lanka surged into the lead in the 14th minute when Captain MCM Rinas curled in a free-kick from around 30 yards.
Apart from conceding the goal, India dominated most of the first half creating a fair number of chances, three of which should have been converted in the first half itself.
First, midway into the half, Udanta Singh outwitted his marker on the right flank and found Sumit Passi all in the clear. But with the rival Goalkeeper at his mercy, Passi failed to control it, thus muffing it up.
Thereafter, Lallainzuala followed up a cross from the right but his weak push wasn’t able to make its way into the net through the jungle of legs.
Late in the first time, Udanta once again found Halicharan Narzary but Narzary failed to lob it over an onrushing Goalkeeper.
Changing over, Head Coach Lee Johnson brought in three changes. Immediately after resumption, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, an U-19 Player in place of Passi and then Bikramjit Singh replaced Skipper Sandesh Jhingan who got injured; and later Jayesh Rane was introduced for Lallianzuala.
The story did stay the same but the equaliser never came. Having more of the possession even in the second half, did't help as they were not able to break the shackles. The last golden chance came to Rowlin Borges in injured time but he blasted it over from top of the box.
India next play Maldives in their last Group League match on February 10. The top two from each Group advance to the semis.
INDIA U-23: Rehenesh; Pritam Kotal, Salam Ranjan, Sandesh Jhingan © (Bikramjit Singh), Narayan Das; Udanta Singh, Vinit Rai, Rowlin Borges, Lallianzuala Changte (Jayesh Rane), Halicharan Narzary, Sumit Passi (Jerry).