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By Nilanjan Datta,
AIFF Media Team


India 4 (Nuruddin – 9th, Jayananda Singh – 43rd, Anirudh Thapa – 61st, Bedashwor Singh – 65th)




Lebanon 1 (Ali Kharoubi -- -- 58th)



KUWAIT CITY: Do you travel distances to watch a Football Match? If you do, would you mind to see a scorcher from 30 yards, or maybe even more to bulge the net – that too from a 15-year old? The choice is yours.


It was the 9th minute of the Match and India’s U-16 colts, U-15 to be precise, were all over Lebanon U-16 at the Sabah Al-Salem Stadium in Kuwait City at the U-16 AFC Qualifiers. Nuruddin, who if you have a close look at will give you the impression of, perhaps, the most obedient boy in School, picked and blasted it. The ball travelled, rose, gained pace and hit the upper corner of the net even as rival Goalkeeper Mohamad Taha, all acrobatic, tried to keep it away.


The present India u-16, all for future, routed a more physical Lebanon 4-1 in their second match of the Championship. Courtesy the victory, they move to four points from two matches.


The next moment for Nuruddin came in the 17th minute. He went past Jean Sakr on the right flank and sent a cross into the rival box. But with everyone beaten, it was that one centimeter above for an onrushing Bedashor to head it in.


Twenty minutes later, the ball bounced a bit awkwardly in front of an unmarked Nuruddin inside the box as he was about to tap it in after a Jerry Lalrinzuala centre down the left had the entire rival defence beaten. The ball, agonisingly, sailed over.


But it didn’t make much of a difference. Possibly the last move prior to the interval was a throw-in down the right. Amit Tudu’s long throw-in was flicked by Jerry and Jayananda, following it up, pushed it in.


India went into the interval with a 2-0 lead. It could have been more, given the domination and penetration.


Post resumption, Deependra Singh Negi was brought in for Kharlukhi.


Nuruddin hadn’t had enough till then. In the 53rd minute, even as the entire midfield with three subtle touches moved from side to the other, Nuruddin tried to finish it off form the top of the box. But this time Taha managed to palm it away even as it menacingly was drifting away from him.


The touches were just brilliant. Sometimes two, sometimes three or four, sometimes more! And mind you, all one touches. The telepathy was evident in the midfield, among the defenders and the midfielders and upfront, all in a 4-3-3 formation.


Lebanon did pull one back in the 58th minute through Ali Kharoubi, possibly in their sole attack during the match when he put it past a diving Dheeraj Singh.


India hit back harder – pumping in two in the next seven minutes. The tireless Anirudh Thapa scored the third after Bedashwor Singh, playing an one-two with Prosenjit Chakraborty had put Thapa in the clear.


And then Bedashwor scored the four minutes later when with his sudden burst of speed he sneaked in between the two rival Central defenders who were kept guessing all throughout the match.


The rest of the match, Lebanon chased; so much so, that even under the lights and with the cool breeze blowing across, their steam ran out fast.


India next play Bhutan on September 27.


INDIA: Dheeraj Singh (Goalkeeper), Amey Ranawade, Jayananda Singh, Amit Tudu, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Kharlukhi (Deependra Singh Negi – 46th) (Bodo Baoringdao (86th),  Prosenjit Chakraborty, Anirudh Thapa, Nuruddin (Krishna Pandit -- 90th), Nijwm Muchahary, Bedashwor Singh (Captain). 

Posted on : Wednesday September 25, 2013