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SAFF U-15 TOURNAMENT 2019 (NEWS)
31.08.19: (FINAL)/ INDIA U-15
Nepal U-15 (FT)
: Tongbram 15', Amandeep 42', Leimapokam 45+3', Nongmeikapam 51', 76', 80', Jangra 65'
: Aman Sahani (GK), Pritam Meetei, P. Singson, Anish Mazumder (C), Amandeep, Sibajit Singh (Himanshu Jangra 46'), Shubho Paul (Isac Zomuanpuia 88'), Sridarth N., Maheson Singh, Taison Singh (Ratanbi Singh 72'), Yoihenba Meitei
AIFF PRESS RELEASE
: A convincing India U-15 beat Nepal 7-0 to lift the SAFF U-15 2019 Championships at the Kalyani Stadium today (August 31,2019). Striker Sridarth Nongmeikapam scored a hat-trick while Maheson Singh, Amandeep, Sibajit Singh and Himanshu Jangra scored one apiece. The winners led 3-0 at the interval.
In the process, the Bibiano Fernandes coached side scored 28 goals in without having conceded any in the 5 matches they played in the tournament (including the final).The victory also meant that India are now the most successful team in the tournament's history -- winning the title for a record third time after previous wins in 2013 and 2017, both of which came in Nepal.
"I would like to thank each one of my support staff, the AIFF management at Football House, and SAI for their support," Bibiano maintained at the post-match press conference."We are happy to be champions. We came here with an aim, and we have achieved it. This was a preparation for the AFC Qualifiers and it makes us confident about what we can achieve," he added. "I am extremely happy the manner boys responded. They kept up the momentum and the intensity since the first match. I am extremely proud of them."
Captain Anish Majumdar dedicated the victory to a "team effort."This wouldn't have been possible without us sticking together as a team. I need to thank the Coach and all our staff for their guidance, and believing in us," Mazumdar commented.The first half was an electric affair right from the start, with the first scoring chance being created in the second minute itself. It was the Indian that started better and were rewarded for their efforts as they took the lead through Maheson Singh Tongbram in the 15th minute.
The midfielder ran into open space on the right flank and made the most of it with an excellent shot that sailed over the head of Nepal goalkeeper Manoj Dahal and nestled into the bottom corner of the goal.It was a one-goal affair for most of the remaining half but India recorded two quick strikes towards the end to head into the dressing room with a three-goal advantage.
Taison Singh, who was a livewire down the right flank, was fouled near the penalty area. He curled in the resulting free-kick, which was sent into the goal with a deft header by Amandeep in the 42nd minute.Taison provided yet another assist to help India extend their lead. Beating his full-back, he squared the ball to an onrushing Sibajit Singh, who scored with a first-time shot.
Changing over, the Indian side was quick to add to its lead, with Sridarth adding his name to the scoresheet with a poacher's goal in the 51st minute. Taison fired in a powerful shot from distance that was not collected by the Nepal keeper and Sridarth was on hand to follow up and tap the ball home. Himanshu Jangra, who scored a hat-trick each in India's two previous matched against Bhutan and Bangladesh, came off the bench at half-time and scored his team's fifth goal of the match -- thus recording his 7th goal of the championship, and bagging the highest scorer award.
This time too, the provider was none other than Taison as he won the ball off the Nepal defence after some excellent pressing. He then proceeded to race past the defence and cross the ball to Himanshu, who leapt and headed the ball home in the 65th minute. Five goals soon became six with 15 minutes left to play as Sridarth added his second of the match. The striker was played in by Shubho with a delightful through-ball and Sridarth showed great composure to round the keeper and stroke the ball home into the empty net.
In the 80th minute, Sridarth completed his hat-trick with India's seventh and last goal of the game as he latched on to a fine, low cross from Himanshu and placed it past the goalkeeper. The next task up ahead for Bibiano Fernandes' side is now the AFC U-16 Championships 2020 qualifiers, scheduled to take place from September 18-22, 2019. The Indians have been drawn in Group B and will face hosts Uzbekistan, Bahrain and Turkmenistan.
25.08.19: (SAFF)/ INDIA U-15
Bangladesh U-15 (FT)
: Jangra 29', 74', 79', Paul 89'
AIFF PRESS RELEASE
: India and Nepal secured the top two spots in the 2019 U-15 SAFF Championship at the Kalyani Stadium, on Thursday, August 29. India defeated defending champions Bangladesh 4-0, while Nepal trounced Bhutan 6-0 on the day. Bangladesh, who had lost 1-4 to Nepal earlier in the tournament, needed to beat India by a two-goal margin, in order to clinch the second spot. However, the hosts came through in the end, with an emphatic result.
The match got off to a rather nervy start on a rain-drenched day in Kalyani. India Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes made as many as eight changes to his starting XI, from their last game against Sri Lanka. Captain and centre-back Anish Mazumder, midfielder Satvik Sharma, and striker Himanshu Jangra were the only ones to keep their position in the starting XI.
It was Bangladesh, who had the early initiative, but they failed to capitalise on their chances. Isac Zomuanpuia had the first real chance for India, as he capitalised on a stopping ball in wet conditions to break free of the Bangladesh defence. However, the weather Gods played spoilsport as his low shot also stopped suddenly in a puddle.
However, it was last day’s hattrick hero Himanshu Jangra, who opened the scoring yet again, as he masterfully back-headed a free-kick by Isac Zomuanpuia over the Bangladesh keeper and into the goal. The weather Gods finally relented during the half-time break as the players headed into the tunnel. However, India had no such plans.
It was the combination of Himanshu and Isac that wreaked havoc in the Bangladesh defence yet again. Around the hour mark, Isac sent in a free-kick from the right wing, that was again headed by Himanshu into the goal.The duo combined a third time just a few minutes later, as Himanshu nodded in a corner to score his hat-trick. Renedy Meetei scored the last few minutes to make the score 4-0 for India.
25.08.19: (SAFF)/ INDIA U-15
Sri Lanka U-15 (FT)
: Jangra 32', 42', 60', Tongbram 38', Paul 45+4'
AIFF PRESS RELEASE
: Himanshu Jangra was the star of the show, as he scored a hat-trick, while Maheson and Shubho Paul also netted one each.India gaffer Bibiano Fernandes made two changes to his lineup, with Himanshu Jangra replacing Sridarth upfront, and Satvik Sharma took Sibajit Singh's place in the middle of the park.
India started dominating from the early exchanges, but the Sri Lanka defence held their own. India attacking midfielder Maheson Singh was on form, giving ample opportunities to striker Jangra. However, the striker finally broke the deadlock when Maheson again found him with a defence-splitting ball, as Jangra slotted it into the net.
Soon after, Maheson pulled the trigger from outside the box and doubled the lead, before Jangra scored his second as he slipped one past the Lanka keeper.Shubho Paul made it four deep into injury time of the first half, as he cut in from the left and curled it into the net.Jangra completed his hattrick in the second half when he skipped past a defender and slotted it home.
"I'm happy that the players are scoring so many goals. I'm very happy for Himanshu. He finally got his chance and showed what a lethal goalscorer he can be," said India Head Coach Fernandes. "It's a problem of plenty, but it's a good problem to have, as I know that If Sridarth is not there, Himanshu can set up to the plate," he rounded off. India are set to play their final group stage game against Bangladesh, which kicks off at 3 pm on Thursday, August 29, at the Kalyani Stadium.
25.08.19: (SAFF)/ INDIA U-15
Bhutan U-15 (FT)
: Loitongbam 1', 57', Nongmeikapam 9', 25', Singson 22', Zomuanpuia 86', Yumnam 89'
AIFF PRESS RELEASE
: India pumped seven goals past a hapless Bhutan side on a rain-drenched day at the Kalyani Stadium, in Kalyani, on Sunday August 25, as the Blue Colts propelled themselves to the top of the 2019 SAFF U-15 Championship table. Bibiano Fernandes’ side, that had posted a 5-0 victory against Nepal in their first game, were as dominant as ever, as Taison Singh and Sridarth netted a brace each. Singson, Isac, and Renedy also scored a goal each.
Taison gave India the fastest start that Bibiano Fernandes could have hoped for, finishing off a swift move in the very first minute. This was the fastest goal of the 2019 edition of the tournament. It took Sridarth just eight minutes to double the lead, as he skipped past two defenders and plonked it past the keeper into the bottom corner.
India’s third goal came from an unlokely source – defender Singson, who lost his marker during a corner, and side-footed a cut-back into the roof of the net. The Indians kept up the pressure, and Sidarth got his second goal of the match on the 25th minute, to make the scoreline an astounding 4-0.
Taison joined in on the party after the change of ends, as he latched on to a stray ball inside the penalty box and drove it into the net. Second half substitute Isac soon made it six goals for his side, as he hit the target from long range, while Renedy Meetei added a seventh goal, with just a minute of regulation time left on the clock.
After the match, Atushi Nakamura praised the Indian side, and even went on to compare the young charges to AFC Asian Cup Champions Qatar. “I told my boys before the game that we should treat this match as if we were playing Qatar. They are a very good side, and they showed that, especially in the first 20 minutes," he said.
India gaffer Bibiano Fernandes, on the other hand, pointed out the fact that his charges have been scoring a lot of goals in recent times, and they have no plan to stop. “A lot of these boys have been scoring frequently, even in the exposure tours. It’s always a good sign when your team scores a lot of goals. Let’s hope we can continue this form later in the tournament as well." India are scheduled to play their next game against Sri Lanka, which kicks off at 12 noon on Tuesday, August 27, at the Kalyani Stadium.
21.08.19: (SAFF)/ INDIA U-15
NEPAL U-15 (FT)
: Maheson, Shubho Paul, Anish Mazumder, Taison Singh, Sridarth
: Aman Sahni, Pritam Meetei, Singson, Anish Mazumder, Amandeep, Sibajit, Shubho Paul, Sridarth, Maheson, Taison, Yoihenbam.
AIFF PRESS RELEASE
: India completed a dominant performance against Nepal in the opening match of the 2019 SAFF U-15 Championship, at the Kalyani Stadium, on Wednesday (August 21, 2019). It was an all-round display by the Indians as five different players scored for the Blue Colts -- Maheson Singh, Shubho Paul, Anish Mazumder, Taison Singh and Sridarth.
The home side started off swiftly, as Maheson cut in and unleashed a fierce right-footer that rocketed into the goal six minutes into the game.After an initial spell of domination, Maheson made his way down the right flank in the 24th minute and crossed it in for Shubho Paul to tap it in from inside the 6-yard-box.
Just before the end of the first half, India struck again, this time, through captain Anish Mazumder, who leapt above the rest of the pack and nodded the ball into the net. Taison curled in a fourth for India five minutes after the restart as the home side was awarded a free-kick outside the area. In the 56th minute, Sridarth was played into the box, as the youngster slipped the ball past the opposition keeper to make it five.
India Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes praised his team's attacking intent in the post-match press conference. "Sridarth is the player who has been scoring goals on a regular basis, but it's the effort of the entire team that has helped us in getting this result. I am really happy for the guys who scored the goals today," Fernandes said after the match. India are set to face Bhutan in their second match of the campaign at the Kalyani Stadium, on Sunday, August 25.
21.08.19 :(OFC)/ INDIA U-19
NEW CALEDONIA U-19 (FT)
: Vikram, Aman, Ricky, Gurkirat.
: Gill, M. Rafi, Jitendra, Vikram, Ninthoi, Aman, Givson, Ricky, Bikash, Sumit, Thoiba.
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INDIA TO FACE NEPAL TOMORROW IN U15 SAFF CUP AT KALYANI
20/8/2019 - AIFF PRESS RELEASE
: With just a day to go for the SAFF U-15 Championship to get underway, India Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes stressed on the importance of having a side that has played alongside each other for a prolonged period of time. The India U-15 side has just returned from an exposure tour to Thailand, where they won all their matches. Speaking ahead of India's SAFF U-15 opener against Nepal, Fernandes said, "We have been playing together since February, and the team that performed in Thailand was more-or-less the core team, and they did well.
The India gaffer further went on to state that his side will take it game-by-game. "We do not believe in singling out any opponents. We will go about this tournament one game at a time," he said. India U-15 captain, Anish Mazumder, explained that it is a thrilling moment for him to play in Kalyani, a ground, where he has grown up training on.
"It's great that I'll be able to represent my country in my home ground. We have practiced long and hard for this moment, and we will give it our all," said Mazumder. Nepal coach Salil Kumar Shrestha regards his opponents India as one of the stronger teams in the competition.
"We have played some friendlies against local teams, so we have had a decent build-up to the tournament," said Sreshtha. "But our first match is against a strong team like India, so we would have to be on our guard. It will be a tough match."
The match between Nepal and India is set to kick off at 12 noon, at the Kalyani Stadium, on Wednesday, August 21.
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