Jeakson Singh scores but Colombia beat India 2-1 in FIFA U-17 World Cup
Jeakson Singh scored a historic goal for India in the FIFA U-17 World Cup but their joy was short-lived as Juan Penaloza struck twice to give Colombia a hard-fought 2-1 win in their Group A encounter.fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 10, 2017 12:51 IST
After India’s loss against USA, everyone knew a win or draw was needed against Colombia in their Group A clash if India were to harbour any hopes of making the Round of 16 in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
This is what encouraged fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday evening to make even more noise than in the opening game.
The chanting, drum beats and even Mexican waves clearly had the desired effect as India put on a far better performance than their previous outing.
However, their best wasn’t enough as a Juan Penaloza double gave Colombia a 2-1 win. The result means India will not make it to the knockout stages in their first ever World Cup.
Jeakson Thounaojam etched his name in India’s football history by becoming the first from the country to score in a FIFA tournament, but the 80th minute equaliser was immediately followed by the winner from Penaloza.
Colombia, who also came into the game needing victory after their loss to Ghana, started the game strongly, dominating possession and pushing India on the back foot.
They ended the first half having seen 68 percent of the ball, yet they had the same number of shots on target as India.
Goalkeeper Dheeraj Moirangthem had to be at his absolute best during the first half. His first major save came in the 17th minute, off an absolute belter from Yadir Meneses that seemed destined for the top corner.
He was then called into action in the 36th minute, saving a close-range header from Leandro Campaz to again keep India in the game.
His performance earned him a standing ovation from the New Delhi crowd after the game, a moment that is unlikely to be forgotten by him.
Missed chances haunt India
India, despite starting the game without star forwards Aniket Jadhav and Komal Thatal, had two good chances in the first half.
The first came courtesy of Abhijit Sarkar, who saw his low shot aimed at the bottom right corner saved by Colombian goalkeeper Kevin Mier.
But arguably the best chance of the half fell to midfielder Rahul Kannoly during injury time. He unleashed a powerful left-footed shot from the edge of the box that had Mier beaten but agonisingly hit the post.
These missed chances saw India start the second half with determination but Colombia took the lead courtesy a left-footed curler from Juan Penaloza.
Now chasing the game, India played with renewed vigour. Coach Luis Norton de Matos brought on Aniket Jadhav and the forward immediately caused Colombia problems on the left wing.
The crowd got louder as Colombia were now on the defensive as they sat deep and looked to pick the hosts off on the counter.
India’s attacking intent was finally rewarded in the 80th minute when Jeakson Thounaojam etched his name in Indian football history.
Jeakson sent a powerful header home following a cross from Sanjeev Stalin following a short corner. And when the ball hit the back of the net, the crowd was ecstatic.
But any dreams India had of going into the final Group A game against Ghana with at least a point were ended almost immediately after that when Juan Penaloza ran onto Gustavo Carvajal’s through ball to slot home the winning goal.