Indian U-15 team
Indian U-15 team

SAFF U-15: Indian colts steamroll Nepal, grab bronze

ANI | Updated: Nov 03, 2018 13:36 IST

Kathmandu (Nepal), Nov3 (ANI): Thlacheu Vanlalruatfela scored the winner as the Indian U-15 side came up trumps against Nepal with a 1-0 scoreline in the bronze medal match of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-15 Football Champion played here at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu.
There were no fierce exchanges until 10 minutes into the game as both the teams struggled for possession. None of the teams were able to penetrate the defense and get a shot at the goal.
However, it was Vanlalruatfela who turned the tables on the opponents in the 18th minute. He forced a wide strike aimed which was thwarted in a one on one challenge against the keeper. Unperturbed, the youngster showed great composure in a rebound attempt and fired the ball into the back of the top net.
After this, the Indian side, while dominating the proceedings, kept the ball with them, preventing their rivals from gaining the possession for long. The hosts, in a dire attempt of goal, took a rare long-range effort in the 39th minute, which was comfortably grabbed by Indian goalie Santosh. The score stood 1-0 at half-time.
Looking to extend the lead after the break, Harsh Patre, who was the lone goal scorer in the previous match took the field replacing Harsh Patre.
In the 72nd minute, Nepal, in a desperate attempt to bring the score to parity, passed a long ball from the right. The Nepal center-forward received it and aimed at the goal. But Indian defense lines were able to get it away from the danger zone.
India's best chance came in the 77th minute after a free header from a corner sailed narrowly wide.
Just to make sure there were no loose ends towards the end of the match, India made two substitutions to ensure that the hosts did not tamper with the triumphant scoresheet.
Coming after a heartbreak loss against Bangladesh, Shivendu Panda believed that the Indian colts had a good chance of bagging the bronze medal.
India came close to qualifying for the final of the championship after Harsh Patra unleashed a 17th minute 30-yarder in their semifinal clash. However, a 93rd-minute penalty by Bangladesh sent the match into the dreaded penalty shootout, where the latter won 4-2. (ANI)