AFC U-16 Qualifiers 2013: India held by Tajikistan


A spirited India were held to a 1-1 draw by Tajikistan in their first match of the 2013 AFC U-16 Qualifiers at the Ali Sabah Al-Salem Stadium in Kuwait City on Saturday (September 21). Prosenjit Chakraborty converted from the spot in the 56th minute after Saidov Karomatullo had put Tajikistan in the lead in the 36th minute.

India held by Tajikistan, Picture Courtesy: www.the-aiff.com
Represented by All India Football Federation’s Regional Academy boys, the Indian colts took some time to settle down. Once they did, they dominated, penetrated and forced Tajikistan to play second fiddle.

But as Head Coach Goutam Ghosh maintained at the Post Match Press Conference, “Our boys can play better.”

“We played very well in the second half and created a lot of opportunities from which we could score. But this was our first match and we will try to rectify on our mistakes,” he stated.

The character on display was commendable indeed. It was the first match of the AFC Championship and the first International match for the bunch. But they were not overawed by the occasion. Down by a first-half goal the boys came back strongly forcing one to ponder as to why they couldn’t garner full points.

Post the Tajikistan goal which was pushed in by Saidov off a melee following a corner, it was all India in the remaining part of the first half and the first 25 minutes of the second half. But Tajikistan managed to hold on. Add to that rival Goalkeeper Khayriev Behruz’s reflexes, India were forced to split points.

The turnaround started from the 37th minute. India’s sudden burst unsettled the sturdy Tajik boys, who till the 36th minute looked a bit more in control than the Indians. In the 44th minute, Anirudh Thapa’s touch off a Jerry Lalrinzuala free-kick hit the post and went wide. A series of corners followed. But the ball wasn’t just destined to go in. It was the right impetus which India needed prior to the interval.

And when they took the field in second half, the colts began with a bang. Krishna Pandit replaced Kapil Hoble and in the very first minute, Muchahary’s shot was saved by a diving Khayriev.

India kept up the pressure and almost equalised in the 47th minute but this time, a Dependra Negi header off a Jerry Lalrinzuala corner was again denied by an alert Khayriev.

The equalizer seemed inevitable and it eventually came in the 56th minute. Nijwm sidestepped Azimov Abubark only to be brought down by the latter inside the box. Prosenjit Chakraborty gleefully converted from the spot.

India should have gained the lead in the 67th minute when Prosenjit lobbed it over Khayriev who was out of position. But it missed by a whisker.

Bodo who was introduced in place of Negi was by then combining well with Nijwm on the right flank much to the frustration of Tajikistan -- so much so, that in the 77th minute, Mirzoev was yellow carded for bringing down Kharlukhi Kyntiewshaphrang.

In the 81st minute, Tajikistan had another close shave when Anirudh’s shot was saved at the right moment by rival captain Safarov Alisher inside the box.

However, Tajikistan were off the blocks faster in the first half and had seized the initiative early. Despite the possession, nevertheless, they were not able to break free. The two Central Defenders along with the two wing-backs kept them at bay. The early thrust did earn Tajikistan quote a few corners but they weren’t able to leave a mark.

As the game progressed, India regrouped. They stressed on keeping possession and switched it from one flank to the other. And once they lost the ball, they managed to hold their rivals only to snatch it back.

In the 24th minute, Nijwm Muchahary played a quick one-two with Bedashwor Laishram but the latter’s shot deflected off rival Captain Saidov Karomatullo.

Tajikistan’s goal came in the 26th minute when Saidov tapped it in between a jungle of legs following a corner down the far end. Uzaqov Khudoydod and Tolibov Rustam, with their interchanging, did keep the Indian defence busy and at times looked threatening. But the Indian defenders, all below 15, recovered fast to deny them.

INDIA:
Dheeraj Singh (Goalkeeper), Jayananda Moirangthem, Jerry Lalrinzuala (Captain), Prosenjit Chakraborty (Amey Ranawade – 87th), Kharlukhi Kyntiewshaphrang, Anirudh Thapa, Bedashwor Laishram, Deependra Negi (Bodo Baoringdao – 73rd), Amit Tudu, Kapil Hoble (Krishna Pandit – 46th), Muchahary Nijwm.
Share on Google Plus

About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

Follow Me on Twitter Debraj Banerjee
Post a Comment