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NEW DELHI: India U-18 kept their SAFF U-18 Championship hopes alive with 2-1 win over Maldives at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu, Bhutan today (September 25). With this win India moved into 2nd position on the points table.


Maldives had taken their lead in against the run of play in the 18th minute before Rebello Princeton equalised in the 38th minute after sprinting down the right to unleash a powerful finish which found the back of the net. Defender Abhishek Halder then scored in the 42nd minute with a 30-yard screamer to secure victory for India.


The first half saw India dominating possession over the opening quarter. A couple of shots went wide while Lalawmpuia’s header missed by a few inches. The game play suggested an Indian goal on the anvil but Maldives had other plans when they scored from a free-kick opportunity after the ball found an unmarked forward who duly converted to give the island nation the lead.


India showed promise and kept on knocking on the Maldives goal mouth but the goal remained elusive as Princeton and Tangri both headed their chances wide. Finally, in the 38th minute in a move of blistering pace Princeton made dash towards the goal to blast it past the keeper into the net. The goal seemed to have ignited the boys as India bombarded the goal with Abhishek Halder’s 30-yard attempt landing inside the goal in the 42nd minute.


The teams headed into the break with India leading 2-1.


The game slowed down considerably. It was also strewn with miss passes and frequent stoppages of play due to injury and the ball going outside. Lalengzama shot wide while Edmund’s attempt went over the bar as clear chances became far and few.


The dying minutes saw Maldives making a comeback with goalkeeper Aditya Patra being forced into making a brilliant save to keep the score line intact and keep India’s hopes in the tournament alive.


India’s next and final match of the SAFF U-18 Championship is against Nepal on September 27.


India U-18: Aditya Patra (GK), Deepak Tangri, Sahil Panwar (C), Abhisek Halder, Namgyal Bhutia, Edmund Lalrindika, Lalawmpuia (Bodo Baoringdao 73'), Bhumij Pranjal, Zonunmawia (Lalengzama 57'), Rebello Princeton (Ashish Rai 80'), Roshan Singh


Posted on : Monday September 25, 2017