Shillong Lajong’s U-12 team, the only Indian club to represent India at the first edition of BRICS International Youth Football Tournament in China, kicked off their campaign in style defeating Chinese clubs.
Shillong Lajong Academy beat Luoyang Xigong Fanglin of China by 3-1 in the opening game on Wednesday at the Putian Sports Centre in Putian.
Badapbiang Lawai, Sanki Kupar Marboh and Alwinson Bareh scored the three goals for Lajong Junior Reds.
Following this, the Junior Reds played a 1-1 draw versus another Chinese club Dongguan Machong FC.
In the Thursday’s second group B game, the Chinese club took the lead as they scored the first goal in the early stages of the first half while Lajong Junior Reds captain, Alwinson Bareh equalized few minutes later after an assist by his team mate Aibok Lawriniang. Both teams collected one point after the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Dongguan Machong FC are at the top of the group B table while Shillong Lajong Academy are second due to goal difference.
Sixteen youth teams were divided into four groups for group stage matches. The 2 top teams will then join the champion group to play for the title, while the other two teams of the group will continue to play the ranking round with the teams from other group. Each team will play at least five games.
Many other activities will be organised at the same time including friendly games for coaches, coaching conference, cultural exchange program and a tourism program.
Team coach Birendra Thapa who accompanied the team said that the boys are upbeat to perform their best.
Other clubs from Brazil, South Africa and Russia have participated in the tournament besides India and China.