Category: AFC U-16 Championship

Jeong Sang-bin break Indian hearts as South Korea through AFC U-16 semi-finals

Kuala Lumpur: Jeong Sang-bin was Korea Republic’s hero as the substitute’s 68th minute strike gave the young Taeguek Warriors a 1-0 win over India and a place in the semi-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship 2018 on Monday.

Korea Republic had, until then, struggled to break down the India defence but Jeong showed great instinct to slot in a loose ball at the MBPJ Stadium.

The win assures Korea Republic a berth in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup and they can now focus on the semi-final against Tajikistan on Thursday.

Korea Republic, so impressive in winning Group D with a perfect record with no goals conceded, were quick to seize possession but India, who had also not let in any goals in emerging runners-up in Group C, showed discipline in defence.

The South Asians made it difficult for Korea Republic to break past their defence and it took 14 minutes for their first shot on target through Kim Ryun-seong’s right-footed effort.

Choi Min-seo came agonisingly close in the 37th minute with his strike to the bottom right corner of the net but goalkeeper Niraj Kumar was on top of his game as he dived low to keep the game goalless.

Korea Republic custodian Shin Song-hoon, who was hardly tested in the first half, was forced into making his first save of the night in the second minute of added time when Ravi Bahadur let loose a menacing strike from 30 metres out.

Bibiano Fernandes’ side returned from the break with more of an attacking flair and Givson Singh Moirangthem’s half-volley from the edge of the box in the 52nd minute was denied by an alert Shin who punched the ball away.

Korea Republic, however, continued to dictate play and after numerous tries, the young Taeguk Warriors found their breakthrough in the 68th minute, when a string of passes gave Choi a chance to release a strike.

Kumar could only parry the shot and the surging Jeong made no mistake with his follow up.

India threw players forward after that but Kim Jung-soo’s side held on to seal the win to ensure their dream of a third AFC U-16 Championship crown remains alive.

India through to AFC U-16 Championship quarters

Kuala Lumpur: Indonesia and India advanced to the quarter-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship 2018 after playing to a 0-0 draw in their final Group C tie at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Both finished on five points with Indonesia topping the group and they will face the Group D runners-up in the last eight while India will face the winners.

Indonesia had opened their campaign with a 2-0 win over Islamic Republic of Iran and settled for a 1-1 draw against Vietnam while India had beaten Vietnam 1-0 in their first match and shared the spoils with Iran in a 0-0 draw.

Backed by their partisan fans, Indonesia pressed their opponents early and had a look at goal in the second minute when David Maulana found space at the top of the box but the Indonesian captain fired his effort high.

India replied in the fourth minute when Ridge Melvin Demello made a darting run on the left and picked out Vikram Partap in the box but the forward couldn’t keep his header down.

Indonesia continued to play a high pressing game as they attacked India from all fronts but the young Blue Tigers stayed sturdy at the back.

In the 17th minute, India tested Indonesia when Ravi Bahadur Rana surged down the left and sent a cross to Demello, whose effort was blocked by Indonesia custodian Ernando Ari Sutaryadi.

Ernando kept India at bay in the 21st minute after foiling Givson Singh Moirangthem’s cross from the left which was intended for Partap who was lurking in the box.

Indonesia then picked up the tempo and in the 27th minute, Amiruddin Bagus Alfikri tried to dribble his way into the box but was met with heavy resistance and two minutes later Sutan Diego Armansoondriano and Mochammad Supriadi combined to stretch the India defence but goalkeeper Niraj Kumar was quick to intervene.

Indonesia kept pressing forward and came close to finding the net after Bagus advanced into the box but he pulled his effort wide as the score remained 0-0 at halftime.

India dominated the opening 20 minutes of the second half as they reduced Indonesia to counter attacks as both teams fought hard for the opening goal.

Bibiano Fernandes’ side came close to finding the net through Bahadur Rana’s free-kick in the 60th minute which forced a save from Ernando.

Indonesia tried to force their way into the box as they found it hard to break down their opponents and were awarded a free-kick in the 75th minute but Rendy Juliansyah fired his effort high above the bar as both teams settled for a point each.

India, Iran play out goalless in AFC U-16 Championship

Kuala Lumpur: India and Islamic Republic of Iran played to a 0-0 draw in their 2018 AFC U-16 Championship Group C tie at the National Stadium on Monday.

IR Iran, who lost their opening match against Indonesia, made three changes to their starting lineup – bringing in Hossein Shaverdi, Hossein Hajizadehkhorasani and Mirreza Eslamtalab and they were more compact in midfield and organised at the back.

IR Iran’s Amir Jafari sent in an inviting cross into the box in the fifth minute but it was too high for Yasin Salmani’s reach as India goalkeeper Niraj Kumar collected the ball with ease.

India battled hard for possession but were unable to get a foothold of the match as IR Iran closed the door on their opponents as they approached the danger zone.

IR Iran looked dangerous moving forward and soon found the spaces between the Indian defence as Salmani brought the best out of Kumar in the 15th minute when he fired a curling effort from top of the box.

The Central Asians’ best chance came in the 20th minute when Salmani connected beautifully off a corner but his header was denied by the post, and Amir Shabani sent the rebound straight into the arms of Kumar.

India played in patches as their free flowing football, which was evident in their 1-0 win over Vietnam on Friday eluded them.

But the young Blue Tigers tried to penetrate the Iranian goal in the 23rd minute when Shabas Ahammed Moothedath sent a dangerous delivery into the path of the lurking strikers but IR Iran goalkeeper Amirhossein Nikpour rose the highest and punched it to safety.

IR Iran came close to scoring again in the 30th minute following Amir Jafari’s set-piece from the top of the area but Kumar was on top of his game as he saved Shaverdi’s header as the score remained goalless at half-time.

IR Iran continued to press Bibiano Fernandes’ side in the second half showing their attacking flair with India sitting deep in their own half as the goals eluded them.

Most of the action was in India’s half but Kumar was unfazed by the pressure as he calmly dealt with Mohammad Amin Soustali’s header in the 70th minute following Amirhossein Azizi’s delivery from the right.

IR Iran seemed to have been given a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty in the 74th minute when Aria Barzegar was brought down by Bikash Yumnam. But Kumar rose to the occasion and saved Alireza Bavieh’s spotkick.

India almost found the net in stoppage time when Lalchhanhime Sailo broke free in the middle but he fired his effort just wide as the match ended goalless.

In their final group tie, India will take on Indonesia, while the former champions face Vietnam.

India edge Vietnam in their AFC U-16 Championship opener

Kuala Lumpur: India’s persistence paid off as they edged Vietnam 1-0 in Group C of the AFC U-16 Championship Malaysia 2018 at the UM Arena on Friday.

In a tightly contested affair, Vietnam started the match strongly as they fought for early possession against an Indian side who had stayed unbeaten in the qualifiers. But the Southeast Asians soon found themselves under pressure as India pushed forward.

Gurkirat Singh found space down the left and delivered a perfect cross to Vikram Partab, who timed his run perfectly as he skipped past his marker in the box but his finishing was tame as it sailed past the goalmouth in the fifth minute.

Vietnam, unfazed by India’s persistence, surged forward in the 12th minute as Dinh Thanh Trung made his way on the right and passed it square to Khuat Van Khang, who fired straight into the arms of India goalkeeper Niraj Kumar.

Two minutes later, The Young Golden Dragons attacked the Indian defence as they committed players upfront. Nguyen The Hung made an intelligent run and picked out an unmarked Dinh but the midfielder pulled his shot wide.

India’s best chance came in the 16th minute with Partab in the thick of action as his close range effort was blocked by Vietnam custodian Nguyen Duy Dung and the striker diverted the rebound to Ricky John Shabong, who sent it way off the mark.

Vu Hong Viet’s side turned up the tempo in the 20th minute as they barraged their opponents with crosses into the box in the hope of finding a glimpse of space but India stayed calm and defended well.

India, however did not give in and in the 34th minute, Ravi Bahadur made a surging run down the left and found Partap but the striker blew his shot over the bar as the match ended goalless at halftime.

Vu Hong Viet’s side turned up the tempo in the 20th minute as they barraged their opponents with crosses into the box in the hope of finding a glimpse of space but India stayed calm and defended well.

India, however did not give in and in the 34th minute, Ravi Bahadur made a surging run down the left and found Partap but the striker blew his shot over the bar as the match ended goalless at halftime.

Both teams pushed hard in the second half but neither could break the deadlock as they battled for possession in midfield.

India, who looked more dangerous upfront, had the best opportunity to score in the 64th minute when Lalchhanhima Sailo sprung into the penalty area but Nguyen Duy foiled his attempt.

In the 64th minute, Vietnam found a rare chance as they broke free on a counter-attack but they could not get their passes together as Bibiano Fernandes’ side swarmed in to tidy up.

The match was heading to a stalemate but India had other ideas as Partap darted past defenders and earned a penalty after he was brought down by Dang Tuan Phong. The captain finally etched his name on the scoreboard after converting the penalty in the 86th minute as the young Blue Tigers earned their three points.