Indian U-15 football team claim SAFF Championships title
The Indian U-15 football team completed a brilliant comeback win over Nepal to win the SAFF U-15 Championships in Kathmandu on Sunday. They were trailing 0-1 at the interval, but second half goals from Lalrokima and Vikram clinched the trophy for the Indian side.
India started the match well as Ravi came really close to scoring in the 14th minute but his finishing was not enough. After a few minutes, Harpreet’s header missed the target narrowly and it seemed that it will be an easy outing for the Indian youngsters.
However, it was Nepal who broke the deadlock against the run of the play in the 40th minute. The hosts earned a penalty and were able to place the ball perfectly to take the lead minutes before the interval.
However, the Indian U-15 football team continued to attack and the result finally came in the 58th minute as Lalrokima scored to make it 1-1. The goal was exactly what the doctored ordered for the Indian team as it infused life into the game and India roared in search of their second goal.
Sailo’s effort was saved while Vikram hit it just wide as India bombarded the Nepal goalfront. The Nepal defense was able to take care of almost every effort, but captain Vikram finally netted the ball in the 74th minute to put India into the lead and that proved to be the winning goal.
The SAFF Championships win came just days after the senior team were crowned champions in the Hero Tri-Nation Football series. Congratulating the U-15 Team for the achievement, All India Football President Mr. Praful Patel said: “Congratulations to the boys and entire staff. The manner the boys have played is a clear indication of how a structured Youth Development Programme can raise the bar.”
Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF said: “The AIFF Academy boys won many hearts with their splendid display. The Academy programme has been yielding results and I am confident this bunch of boys would go on to bring more laurels for the Country. Congratulations!”