Category: AIFF Youth Cup News



VASCO (GOA): Korea Republic defeated United States of America 2-1 in the Final to lift the inaugural edition of the AIFF Youth Cup played at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Wednesday (May 25).

Jeon Seungmin curled it in off a free-kick in the 114th minute of the extra-time to seal the issue after both Teams were locked 1-1 after 90 minutes.

A host of dignitaries including All India Football Federation General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das, Vice-President Mr. Subrata Dutta, Executive Committee Member Mr. Ankur Datta, Technical Director Mr. Scott O’Donell, CEO, I-League Mr. Sunando Dhar were present. FIFA Regional Development Officer Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran and Members from FIFA and AFC were also present on the occasion.

The first goal came in the 14th minute. Lee Hakseon cut in from the right, sidestepped his marker only to see his shot hit the post and roll in much to the delight of the Korean bench.

Andrew James restored parity for the USA in the 31st minute. Grant Akinola made a great run through the middle and was tripped as he was shaping up to pull the trigger. James’ effort from the spot was saved by rival Goalkepeer Park Jimin but James tapped in the rebound.

Changing over, USA were reduced to 10-men when George Anthony was given marching orders in the 54thminute.

Korea did try to cash in on their numerical superiority but the US defence held fort as the two Teams proceeded to extra-time.

It eventually needed a piece of individual brilliance to separate the Teams – Seungmin’s direct free-kick from around 25 yards doing the trick for Korea Republic in the 114th minute.

Meanwhile, in the third-place play-off played earlier the day, Tanzania defeated Malaysia 3-0. Goals from Rashid Abdallah (13th), Shabani Zuberi (41st), Muhsini Malima (45+5) sealed the issue for Tanzania.

USA beat India 4-0 in AIFF Youth Cup

VASCO: United States of America outplayed Indian U-16 Team preparing for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup 4-0 in AIFF Youth Cup at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Thursday. USA led 3-0 at half-time.

The first 27 minutes were, nevertheless, different. India played all over, attacked with purpose at a fast pace. There was always one to support the other. The ‘better attitude’ was evident.

In the 9th minute, Ninthoi’s shot was saved by Alexander Paul and with Gaston’s long throws paving danger, USA were started to get frustrated. So much so, that Rayshaun was flashed the yellow for a foul on Komal.

“In the first 27 minutes the Indians were frustrating us. We desperately needed to get the ball into their box. And the first one gave us a goal,” USA Coach John Hackworth said at the post-match Press Conference.

Understanding they were not getting anything in the middle, USA stretched it to the flanks. Andrew James who had started on the left, switched flanks and thereafter, it all changed. Keeping him silent was too much for Aimol and all the three goals in the first half were all initiated by James.

For the first two, he rounded on the right flank and played it low and behind the defence line enabling all the time in the World for William Franklin to head it in.

India were lucky as Franklin missed his hat-trick in the 41st after James had again gone past Aimol on the right and centered only for Franklin to head it into the side netting.

Nevertheless, the wait wasn’t long. The third goal was also similar, just that Chandler Vincent basted it off the rebound after the defence line had cleared James’ centre.

Changing over, the story stayed the same. The Indians faltered again when it was played behind the defence when in the 56th minute Kevin Roberto tapped in a Jake Anthony low centre — the sole difference was that this time it came from the right flank.

Two minutes later, Nicolai brought in Rakip who came in for Gaston. And then, Aman was replaced by Nonganba Singh. But it was too much of a task overturning the deficit.

In the 85th minute, Amarjit’s centre was just that inch over for Nonganba and the very next minute Alexander stretched full to saved his grounder for a corner.

USA also had a chance in added time but the towering Joshua Thomas despite towering above all to meet a corner, headed wide.

“I am happy with the attitude shown by the boys,” Nicolai said post match. “We were well organised and we are on the right track,” he added.

Both Teams play Korea Republic in their next match. While India play them on May 23, USA will face them on May 21.

Credits- AIFF Media

AIFF Youth Cup: India go down to Tanzania 1-3

VASCO: India went down 1-3 to Tanzania in their second match of the AIFF Youth Cup at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Tuesday.

For Tanzania, Maziku Amani opened the scoring in the 20th minute off a diagonal right-footer which beat a diving Indian Goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz Khan. Eight minutes later, Sarif Khan, in an effort to intercept Asad Ai’s cross deflected the ball into his own net.

For India, Komal Thatal reduced the margin in the 36th minute, gleefully tapping it in the rebound after Tanzanian Golkepeer Ramadhani had failed to gather it properly.

However, Tanzania sealed it two minutes after resumption – Asad Ali curling in a free-kick from just outside the box.

Speaking at the Official post-match Press Conference, Tanzanian Coach Bakari Shime said India “looked tired.”

“They were technically better than us. But we beat them for fitness. They looked tired and drained out after their 2-2 draw against Malaysia” he said

Indian Assistant Coach Eitebar Ibrahim said it was “bad day” for us. “We have trust in our boys. The opponents deserved to win. We were not at our best,” he maintained at the Official post match Press Conference as Niclai Adam was ordered to leave the bench by the fourth Official.

“Our main focus stays the AFC U-16 Championship and the FIFA 2017 U-17 World Cup. Mistakes at this stage happen. The boys are learning,” he added.

Tanzania looked the better Team on the field. India did have their chances but in such a match unless one capitalizes, you pay for it. The cohesion which was evident all over against Malaysia seemed to be fizzling out as the game progressed. Moreover, the composure of the two rival Central Defenders frustrated India all throughout.

India were off the blocks faster. In the first minute itself, Komal hoodwinked his marker but his placement went wide. Some 10 minutes later, Boris cut in from the corner and placed it for Ninthoi. The latter’s shot all addressed to the net was tipped over but a stretched Ramadhani.

Nicolai brought in his first change as early as the 30th minute – Rakip replacing Aimol. He did utilize all the three within the next 28 minutes – Aman coming in for Sanjeev (53rd) and then Gaston replacing Ninthoi (58th).

For India, the easiest chance of the match fell in the 70th minute. Aman sneaked in between the two defenders and had Ramadhani at his mercy. But in an effort to finish off fast, he muffed it. Another half chance came in the 80th minute – but even as Ramadhani missed the flight of Gaston’s corner, Amarjit’s header went wide.

With India having staged a spectacular comeback against Malaysia in the last 10 minutes, everyone was hoping for another. But it all belonged to Tanzania. In fact, had their Strikers maintained calm, they could have scored a couple, or maybe even three more.

India next play United States of America in their next match on May 19 at 8pm.

Credits: AIFF Media

AIFF Youth Cup: India stage a dramatic comeback to hold Malaysia 2-2


VASCO (GOA): The Indian U-16 National Team came down from two goals down to snatch a dramatic 2-2 draw against Malaysia in their opening match of the AIFF Youth Cup at Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa today (May 15, 2016).

Strikes by Muhammad Sallahuddin and skipper Arif Suhaimi in the 44th and the 79th minute respectively had helped Malaysia to a 2-0 lead inside 80 minutes. But a rampant attacking display in the last 10 minute of the match saw India equalize their deficit.

Komal Thatal pulled one back in the 82nd minute and then Boris Singh struck for the hosts in injury time (90+4) as both Teams shared points.

Although India created more goal scoring opportunities and prodded towards goal with every touch of the ball, it was their opponents who took the lead in the 44th minute – much against the run of play. Just a minute before halftime, a defensive lapse saw Muhammad Sallahuddin in the clear and he made the most of it curling his shot home.

Nevertheless, the Indian Colts should have taken the lead in the 31st minute when Ninthoi’s cross from the left flank, after breezing past his marking defender found Aniket in the Malaysian box. Aniket, surrounded by the Malaysian defence released a feeble shot as the opportunity went abegging.

Two minutes later, Aniket turned his marker inside out with a clever flick of the ball and burst onto goal only to shoot wide of the goal. The Indian colts gave the Malaysian defence a hard time as the lightning speed of Komal and Aniket often left the Malaysian back-four gasping.

The best chance for India in the first half came in the 40th minute when Aniket latched onto an uncanny clearance by the Malaysian custodian inside the box. He tried to score with the Malaysian custodian out of position but Central Defender Zamri put his body on the line to save the day for Malaysia.

Changing over, the Indians stretched the Malaysian defence while pinning them in their own half. In the 58th minute, live-wire Aniket Jadhav’s header came close to equalizing the deficit for India as his chance went whiskers over the opposition bar.

A minute later, Aniket was at it again, this time the lanky forward’s shot looped over the bar and landed atop the net as India pressed for the equalizer.

The Indian colts fostered plenty of chances and constantly hovered around the Malaysian box but were left reeling as the Colts failed to apply the finishing touches to their attacks.

The Indian colts were left reeling for the equalizer again in the 73rd minute when a cross from the right flank found an onrushing Sanjeev Stalin. In an attempt to hit the cross first time Stalin fluffed his shot as the ball flied inches past the post.

Shortly after Reamsochung’s cross found substitute Aman Chhetri in the box, but Chhetri who had come on for Aniket in the 63rd minute, failed to make clear contact.

The Indian momentum, however, was short-lived as Malaysia were awarded a penalty in the 79th minute and rival Captain Arif Suhami blasted the ball home to double their lead.

The drama started thereafter. The Indian colts reduced their deficit in the 82nd minute when Komal’s shot from outside of the box landed into the back of the Malaysian net to make the scoreline read 2-1.

Boris scored the equalizer in the extra time of the second half as he capitalized on a goalkeeping howler and slotted the ball home to make the full-time scoreline read 2-2 as India created a terrific comeback to edge out a draw in their opening match.

Report & Pictures Credits: AIFF Media

India to face play Malaysia in their first match of the AIFF Youth Cup


GOA: A day prior to India’s opening clash against Malaysia in the AIFF Youth Cup which kicks-off tomorrow, the coach of the Indian U-17 World Cup Squad, Nicolai Adam asserted the importance of, “competitive Tournament like the (AIFF) Youth Cup which act as a yardstick for the development of any particular Youth Team.”

Speaking at the Official Pre-Tournament Press Conference at the Bogmallo Beach Resort, the German Coach said: “Our main goal is to prepare for the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the AFC U-16 Championship which commences this year in September.”

“For us, the AIFF Youth Cup is a Tournament which gives us great exposure helping us to accumulate experience under our belts. The boys are looking forward to this Tournament and are very motivated to give it their all. Although the Tournament is a stepping stone of us we are very happy to have it,” he added.

But Nicolai’s Team has been dented by injuries to a few of its Players. “We are nursing a couple of injuries in our squad but that serves the other Players with an opportunity to prove themselves in the Team,” Nicolai opined when inquired about the Indian Team’s composition.

Explaining the preparation of the Indian U-17 World Cup Squad before the AIFF Youth Cup, Adam informed: “The squad assembled back in Goa on April 5 after the trip from South Africa, as the Players had to be released for schooling purposes.”

[maxbutton id=”2″]

Though Nicolai has been in charge for over a Year, some of the boys have been practicing at the AIFF Academy since 2014.

“We have been together as a Team for 7-8 months now and it is not necessarily an advantage to have the National Team together for the whole time.”

Charting the roadmap ahead of the AIFF Youth Cup the German Coach mentioned about “going to Germany for a three month camp after this Tournament.”

“We are playing close to 20 games in Germany and that will boost us in the Players’ development.”

Adam reiterated that the door for the Indian U-17 World Cup Squad is open for every Player given that he possesses the necessary talent needed. “We are still on the hunt for Players and the door is open for any Player who has the talent that we need. We are still in a scouting phase.”

The following is the 22-member squad for India in the AIFF Youth Cup:

GOALKEEPERS: Mohammad Nawaz (Manipur), Tamal Naskar (West Bengal), Prabhsukhan Singh Gill (Punjab).

DEFENDERS: Aimol Chongompipa, Boris Singh, Mohammad Rakip, Mohammed Sarif Khan (all from Manipur), Gaston D’Silva, Saurabh Meher (both from Maharashtra),  Jitendra Singh (West Bengal), Henry Anthony (Karnataka), Narender (Delhi).

MIDFIELDERS: Suresh Singh, Amarjit Singh, Ninthoinganba Meetei (all from Manipur), Joseph Vanlalhruaia (Mizoram), Aman Chetri (Assam), Sanjeev Stalin (Karnataka), Aniket Jadav (Maharashtra), Komal Thatal (Sikkim).

STRIKERS: Joysana Singh, Nonganba Singh (both from Manipur).

HEAD COACH: Nicolai Adam.

(Report & Photo Credits AIFF Media)

We want to qualify for U-17 WC on merit, says Nicolai Adam


NEW DELHI: The International exposure which the AIFF has been providing the U16 National Team on their road to prepare for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup has been quite unprecedented in Indian Football history.

The Team has already been to International exposure Tours to Germany, Spain and South Africa and would embark on Tours to Germany, Norway and Brazil immediately after the completion of the AIFF Youth Cup, all to prepare for U-16 AFC Finals in September and the U-17 World Cup in 2017 November.

“The target is to make it to the semifinals of the U-16 Finals so that we qualify to the 2017 U-17 World Cup on merit,” Adam said.

The four semifinalists gain automatic berths to the U-17 World Cup. “We are working on the goal. We want to play the U-17 World Cup on merit,” he reiterates.

“In India it’s hard to get the right kind of opponent to play for the boys to develop. Even close to the AIFF Youth Cup, we struggled to play quality opposition,” he clarifies.

Adam has always stressed that it’s a “revolving door,” and that he would be scouting for boys till the registration process of the U-17 World Cup ends.

“Off-course, I mean it. We scouted some new Players whom we found during the exhibition matches and they are now part of the Team,” he informs.

“We even spotted some boys from the U-15 League and though they are not that good enough right now, they are with us and will improve.”

“I expect the State Associations to respect our mission and send Players of the right age. During our exhibition match in Guwahati most of the boys from the opposition were over-age but we spotted one Player who has the potential. Unfortunately he is injured at the moment.”

India play Malaysia in their first match of the AIFF Youth Cup on May 15.

Nicolai, however, wasn’t willing to predict as to where the boys would be five years from now.

“It’s too early to say. We cannot predict the numbers of the lottery for the next week. Can we?” he queried.

You could not doubt him.

(Photo and Report Credits: AIFF Media)