India’s poor run in the BRICS U-17 football tournament continued as they slumped to their third successive defeat in the competition, losing 0-1 to China at the Athletic Stadium.
An injury time goal by Huang Cong helped China score their first win in the tournament and get the better of the home team.
Having lost all three matches so far, India are lying at the bottom of the Group with zero points, while China have four points.
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India will play their last league match against Brazil. Although India played as a cohesive unit and created chances, they once again were found wanting in front of the goal.
The opening minutes of the match turned into a cagey affair in the midfield as both teams vied for possession, with
neither emerging on top.
With China defusing much of the Indian attacks from the flanks, the colts resorted to tacky passing in the midfield. In the 21st minute, Komal Thatal was found on the edge of the Chinese 18 yard box by a Boris pass, but the former could only manage to lob the ball over the Chinese custodian and over the Chinese goal, as India pressed for a goal.
Two minutes later, Boris beautifully nutmegged his marking player in the Chinese box, but failed to control the resulting ball. With the Indian defence mopping up much of the Chinese attacks, the first big chance for China came in the 28th minute from a free-kick, but Dheeraj’s strong fists thwarted the ball away for a corner.
Three minute before half-time Amarjit darted towards the final third and a flailing Chinese body somehow thwarted his venomous shot, as both teams went into the tunnel on level pegging at half-time with the scoreline reading 0-0.
Dheeraj was once again called into action minutes into the second half and the lanky custodian proved vital between the sticks as he denied China twice from close range.
Head Coach Nicolai Adam shuffled his pack and introduced a fresh pair of legs — Narendar for Aniket Jadhav — to up the ante. In the 67th minute substitute Shubham Sarangi missed a header from close range, but the referee had already flagged the medio for offside to halt proceedings.
Nine minutes later, an Indian corner whizzed infront of the Chinese goal but with neither teams applying to make decent contact, the opportunity went abegging.
The Chinese defence line kept the Indian attack force at bay and despite numerous attempts at goal, the Indian colts were left reeling with failure to convert infront of goal. China scored in the dying embers of the match. The all important goal was scored in the sixth minute of the injury time.