The Indian U-17 World Cup squad defeated Belarus U-18 by a solitary goal in its second match of the Granatkin Memorial Cup in Russia on Tuesday.
A 68th minute tap-in by Komal proved to be the difference between the two sides in a rather drab match where chances created by both teams were few.
After a 0-8 loss against Russia, the Indian Colts engaged in early sparring with their opponents but without advantage. A drab first half, which ended with the teams going back into the tunnel with the scoreline reading 0-0, saw little action from both teams.
The first real chance of the match came in the 23rd minute when Komal shot straight down the opposition custodian’s throat after Boris dribbled past two defenders and found him with a through ball.
In the 34th minute, Sanjeev received the ball on the left flank and passed it to an onrushing Amarjit, who could only rattle the Belarus defence line with a first-time shot.
Meanwhile, Belarus failed to register even a single shot on the Indian goal in the first half.
Changing over, Boris dribbled into the box in the 50th minute and unleashed a shot, which rattled the bar as India pressed to take the lead.
In the 63rd minute it was Belarus who hit the woodwork as the match turned into an end-to-end affair. In the 68th minute, India took the lead as Suresh played a cross from the right flank, which Komal tapped home. India looked to extend their lead but uncanny shots infront of the goal failed to add gloss to the scoreline.
The full-time scoreline read 1-0 in India’s favour. Nicolai Adam’s boys face Latvia U-18 next on January 12, 2017 in their third and final group match of the Granatkin Memorial Cup.