The India U-17 Men’s National Team registered a 2-1 victory over Atletico de Madrileno U-16s in a practice game at the Alcala de Henares, in Madrid, on Thursday.
The India U-17s are currently in Madrid, Spain, where they are playing a series of practice matches as part of their preparation for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023, which will take place in Thailand in June, this year.
Thanglalsoun Gangte and Lalpekhlua scored early in the second half for India, before Tallon pulled one back for the local team, as the visitors ran away with a slender win in the match.
The hosts began the match on the front foot, as India dug deep in the opening exchanges to keep the scores level. However, India were ready to shift gears on the counter, and got a chance in the third minute itself, when they broke off a Faizan Waheed clearance and Gogocha proceeded up the pitch to feed a cross to Gangte, who shot wide.
Gangte was in the thick of things again, this time at the other end of the pitch, in the 23rd minute, when he cleared an Atletico corner. The two teams kept going to and fro at each other before Omang got an opportunity to put his side forward with a little over five minutes of regulation time left in the first half. However, his shot was saved by Atletico keeper Dani.
India keeper Julfikar Gazi was also called into action late in the first half, as he kept the scores at 0-0 before the breather. The Spanish side began on the front foot in the second half as well, and Gazi had to make an acrobatic save early on to keep them out in the 53rd minute.
As it happens in a training game, India head coach Bibiano Fernandes brought in a host of changes a couple of minutes later, as Danny Meitei, Gurnaj Grewal, Vanlalpeka Guite, Korou Singh, Lalpekhlua, Thokchom, and Ricky Meetei replaced Prachit, Rohen, Omang, Lemment, Gogocha, Faizan Waheed, and Dhanajit, respectively.
Interestingly, the changes turned the game around for the Blue Colts, and India took the lead as Korou passed it for Gangte, who took his chance with great aplomb. Having taken the lead, the Korou-Gangte duo worked their magic once again, just four minutes later.
Korou sent in a cross for Gangte, and this time, the latter, instead of going for the goal himself, left it for Lalpekhlua, to make it 2-0.
Another three changes were made by Fernandes with 15 minutes of regulation time left on the clock, as Mukul Panwar, Balkaran Singh, and Shashwat replaced Pramveer, Suraj, and Gangte.
Atletico did pull one back through substitute Tallon in the 78th minute, but India held on to register their second win in the three practice matches they have played so far in Spain. (ANI)