AIFF U-16 march to cross finals of Youth International Tournament

Best in two and equal in the other is how the AIFF U-16 Regional Academy Boys fared in the three group matches of their first-ever Youth International Tournament in Heemserk, The Netherlands on Saturday (August 9, 2014).
AIFF U-16 march to cross finals of
Youth International Tournament in
Heemserk, Netherlands

Courtesy the results, the Boys in blue – who finished second in the four team group owing ton inferior goal difference – play Israel’s most recognized club Maccabi Tel Aviv FC’s U-17 Boys in a cross final match tomorrow (August 10, 2014). The winner of the tie will take on the winner of this group’s topper FC Volendam and the other group’s runners-up AZ Alkmaar.

While Maccabi Tel Aviv topped the other group winning two of their matches 7-0 and playing out a 1-1 draw against Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar, FC Voldendam – the tournament’s U-17 section defending champions – won their first two games 5-1 and 6-0 respectively only to eke out a 2-2 last-minute draw against AIFF U-16 Boys.

The International Youth Tournament (HSV Odin 59’ Heemskerk) is divided into two parts, for U-17’s (B-Juniors) and U-19s (A-Juniors). While there are eight teams in the U-17’s section – of which AIFF U-16 Boys are one of them – the U-19’s is made of six outfits.

The format of the U-17 section (B-Juniors) of the International Youth Tournament (HSV Odin 59’ Heemskerk) is a eight team affair with two groups of four followed by cross finals for the places 1-8. This essentially means that top two teams of two groups face each other in a crisscross manner with winners playing in the final and losers in a third fourth place clash.  Similarly the rest of the teams follow suit.

Matches are of 50-minute duration with tie in the games for the places 3-8 going into penalties. Only the final has extra time of 15-minute duration if required.

The U-16 Boys who form the core of the India U-16 National Team won by solitary goals against Deportivo Saint Maickol and S.B.V. Excelsior, drawing only with FC Volendam, that too through a last minute goal.

In the first match, it was almost a repeat telecast of the Boys’ opening game in the Netherlands which they won 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Nijwm Muchahary.

The difference being this time the striker found the back of the net in deep into regulation time driving home Thapa’s through ball after some good combination play in the midfield for long spells paid off.

It looked like the story of late goals would come to an end with the second match 13 minutes old. Nijwm, who has been the cynosure of all eyes courtesy his goal glut dribbled the ball at the top of the box before firing past goalkeeper to score but a late offside call from the linesman spoilt the party.

But the Boys were not to go empty handed for their relentless toil as four minutes from time Bedashwor Singh was tripped inside the box. The referee pointed towards the penalty spot and Prosenjit Chakroborty who in the Asian Champions Trophy converted three spot kicks on one match, made no mistake sending the keeper the wrong way.

Volendam looked on course for another clean slate as they took the lead as early as in the third minute of the last group tie. But the Boys refused to bow down even to the defending champions equalising through Surya Tirkey who knocked in another delectable Thapa ball.

The moment to savour though came in the second half, at the half hour mark.

Thapa was in the thick of things again, racing 20 yards to get on the end of a ball from the midfield, only to send Bedashwor in the clear with a inch perfect through ball. Bedashwor tucked it in with assured ease, knowing that his off the ball running was brilliant while Thapa was conjuring up the assist.
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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!

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