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India survive Yemen onslaught in AFC U-19 Championship qualifier

India held Yemen to a goalless draw at the 2018 AFC U-19 Championship. However, their hopes of qualifying for the main tournament is over

football Updated: Nov 06, 2017 22:42 IST
AFC U-19 Championship,AFC U-19 Championship qualification,Indian football
India managed to hold on for a point against a strong Yemen side in their second AFC U-19 Championship qualifier on Monday.(AIFF)

India managed to soak in pressure for long periods of their AFC U-19 Championship qualifier against Yemen to escape with a draw at the Prince Mohammad bin Fahad Stadium in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, on Monday.

After a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Saudi Arabia, the draw kept India in contention for qualification, but only just. With the result against Yemen, India’s hopes of qualifying for the main tournament is over..

The Luis Norton de Matos-coached side was happy to defend in numbers against an offensive-minded Yemen side, which dominated the game for most of the 90 minutes.

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With the Indian team formed from the core of the squad that represented the country at the FIFA U-17 World Cup last month, the youngsters put in a disappointing display.

In the 20th minute, Amarjit Singh saw his attempt at goal, after a rare foray into the Yemeni half, go wide of the goal. India had two free kicks from promising positions in the first half, but failed to make either count.

Indian custodian Dheeraj Moirangthem, who had a busy evening, was called into a save just before half-time, as he put a free kick away from the goal into safety.

Indian striker Rahim Ali had a chance early in the second half, but his shot failed to trouble Yemen’s keeper.

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However, Yemen took control of the game from that point, and came close to scoring on a number of occasions.

Goalkeeper Dheeraj, however, showed glimpses of his talent with three crucial saves in the second half to keep it goalless.

India’s best opportunity came in the dying minutes when substitute Namgyal Bhutia found himself with the chance to shoot from a counter-attack. His attempt, however, went wide of the goal.

India will next face Turkmenistan at the same venue in their last qualifying game on Wednesday.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 21:27 IST