OFC Youth Tournament 2019: India annihilate New Caledonia
by Shubham Sharma
Port Vila: The India U-19 National Team continued their winning trot with a 4-1 win over New Caledonia here at the Korman Stadium on Wednesday.
Vikram Partap Singh (17'), Aman Chetri (41'), Ricky Shabong (74') and Gurkirat Singh (79') scored for the men in blue, while Lues Waya (83') managed to score one for the Oceania side from a spot-kick as a mere consolation goal.
Head coach Floyd Pinto fielded an unchanged playing eleven which had defeated hosts Vanuatu on Monday.
India begun the game with complete dominance. In the 17th minute, Ninthoi made a run into box making a crevice in the opponent's defense, his pass was converted coolly into a goal by Vikram Partap Singh from a close effort.
With just five minutes remaining before the half time, Aman Chetri scored for India and doubled the lead for the Asian side. Givson took a short free-kick to Ninthoi, the latter floated in a looping ball for Thoiba who calmly placed in on a platter to Aman. The striker, having cut his marker loose, tapped it home to increase the lead.
After the change of sides, India continued in the same gear and looked to increase the lead.
Ninthoi continued to worry the opposition defence as he set up India's third goal too. He intercepted a feeble goal-kick and rolled it to the 18-yard-box. Manvir laid it off and an onrushing Ricky didn't hesitate to blast it into the back of the net in the 74th minute.
Manvir was fouled inside the box just five minutes later and the referee convincingly awarded a penalty to Blue colts a spot-kick. Super-sub Gurkirat Singh, tricked the goalkeeper to send him the wrong way and score the 4th for the side.
Sumit Rathi brought down an opponent in the 83rd minute and the resulting penalty was converted by Lues Waya to register the only consolation goal for the Oceanian country from the 12-yard spot.
India will now face Tahiti for the 1/2 place play-off at the same venue on August 24.