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India thrash Yemen 3-0 in WAFF U-16 Championship


The Indian U-16 football team routed Yemen 3-0 to end the five-nation WAFF U-16 Championship with consecutive victories in Amman, Jordan on Tuesday.

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Defender Harpreet Singh had headed the “Boys in Blue” ahead in the 37th minute before two-quick goals early into the second-half rounded up a comfortable victory for India.

Ridge Demello found the net yet with another header in the 47th minute before Rohit Danu chipped the ball over the opposition goalkeeper to make it 3-0, one minute after the second goal.

Coach Bibiano Fernandes was ecstatic following the victory and praised the boys for their fantastic display.

“We are extremely proud of them. They came up with a superlative performance today and executed it to perfection. The tournament has helped us gauge where we stand and we go back much richer in experience,” he said after the match had ended.

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The victory also meant that the India U-16 boys finished the tournament with three wins and a loss that came against Japan. They had begun the tournament with a dominating 4-0 victory against hosts Jordan, before suffering a narrow 1-2 defeat to Japan.

They, however, bounced back to beat the higher ranked and U-16 Asia Champions Iraq 1-0 yesterday.

The tournament was an exposure tour organised by AIFF in order to prepare for the forthcoming AFC U-16 Championship in Malaysia, where top 16 Asian teams will compete.

The teams have been divided into four groups of four teams each, with the top two teams from each group progressing into the quarterfinals.

India has been paired with Iran, Vietnam, and Indonesia in Group C.

The four semi-finalists will earn a direct ticket to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2019.

Elsewhere, a 10-men India U-20 team had defeated two-time World Cup winners and six-time U-20 world champions Argentina 2-1 in the Cotif Cup on Monday.

Defender Deepak Tangri had headed India ahead against the footballing powerhouse after getting to the end of Ninthoiganba Meetei corner just fourth minutes into the match.

Aniket Jadhav was then shown a straight red for a rough foul. It, however, couldn’t deter India’s hopes who soon made it 2-0 in the 68th minute when an Anwar Ali free-kick sailed straight into the goal.

Argentina pulled one back four minutes later but could not stop a historic Indian victory on Spanish soil.

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