AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: India Under-17 Men’s National Team lost 1-3 against a U-16/19 mixed side of VFB Stuttgart in a training game at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Stuttgart on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. The winners led 2-0 at half time.
After playing a series of preparatory matches in Spain, the India U-17 squad, coached by Bibiano Fernandes, are currently in Germany to play a few practice games.
The Blue Colts are preparing for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup final rounds to be played in Thailand next month. Placed in Group D they will play Vietnam (June 17), Uzbekistan (June 20), and Japan (June 23) in Pathum Thani and Bangkok.
After being involved in some equal exchanges during the initial period of the match, in which a Thanglalsoun Gangte shot was saved by the rival goalkeeper and Vanlalpeka Guite failed to find the target from close range, the home side shot into the lead in the 22nd minute.
As the VFB Stuttgart side earned a corner, Paul Koenig headed home leaving the Indian goalkeeper Sahil frustrated. Four minutes later, Sahil was alert under the bar as he thwarted a direct free kick taken by Laurin Ulrich. However, in the 34th minute, Sahil could do little when Karlo Kuranyi struck perfectly from a spot kick to double the lead for the Stuttgart boys.
Fernandes made a few changes in the second half, but the fortune didn’t swing India’s way. Instead, Stuttgart earned a couple of more penalties in quick succession after the resumption. While Sahil managed to save one in the 52nd minute, he had no answer for the one taken by Tom Barth two minutes later.
The Indians, however, had something to smile about in the 80th minute when Yohann Torres was pulled up for handling the ball inside the penalty box and Shashwat slotted home from the resultant penalty.
Encouraged by the goal, India pressed hard in the last few minutes and twice came close to scoring. The scoreline would have been far more respectable for the visitors had Rohen and Shashwat availed the chances that came their way.
India: Sahil (GK); Dhanajit Ashangbam (Ricky Meetei, 50), Surajkumar Singh, Mukul Panwar, and Malemngamba Thokchom; Danny Meitei (Akash Tirkey, 60), Gurnaj Singh, Lalpekhlua Ralte (Gagocha Chungkham, 65), Vanlalpeka Guite (captain) (Rohen Singh, 86) and Korou Singh; Thanglalsoun Gangte (Shashwat, 50).