Indian U-16 Men’s team registered their first victory in four games after defeating the Malaysian U-16 team 2-1 in their second consecutively friendly encounter with them. Indians were in cruise control throughout the game, with a deep into the injury time goal by Malaysia making the scoreline look interesting. For India, Rohit Danu converted a 21st minute penalty kick to give India the lead. 10 minutes later, Givson Singh Moirangthem doubled the lead with a well placed finish.
This was a welcome victory for the Under-16 boys after their crushing defeat in the first friendly game against the same team. India had lost the first friendly 3-0, and a victory against the same opponent would have boosted their confidence massively. Head coach Bibiano Fernandes had made two changes from the previous game, replacing goalkeeper Lalbiakhlua Jangle with Niraj Kumar and Gurkirat Singh making way for Manish Chaudhary.
Rohit Danu looked hungry for goals right from the off and he was rewarded for his desire and hard work with a goal from the spot. Meanwhile, Niraj Kumar was also worked by the Malaysian attackers, with the young custodian making two crucial saves in the first half to keep the hosts at bay. Givson then finished off a lovely team move in the 31st minute to ease some of the pressure off the Indian defense.
Danu continued his hot streak by hitting the post before the half time as India worked towards giving the hosts a taste of their own medicine. But it wasn’t to be, as India stepped off the gas, which allowed the hosts to pull a goal back in the dying stages of the game. But in the end, it was a comfortable victory for the Young Tigers, who would be looking to repeat this performance in the upcoming AFC U-16 Championship, which will be held in Malaysia in September.
Starting XI:Niraj Kumar (GK), Manish Chaudhary, Harpreet Singh, Moirangthem Thoiba Singh, Shabas Ahammed Moothedath, Bekey Oram, Ricky John Shabong, Ridge Melvin DeMello, Givson Singh Moirangthem, Vikram Pratap Singh (C), Rohit Danu.