FIFA U-17 World Cup: Jeakson Creates History but Colombia Beat India 2-1
India scored their first ever World Cup goal when Jeakson Singh headed home a Sanjeev Stalin corner, but Colombia ran out 2-1 winners
India lost 2-1 to Colombia. (FIFA/Twitter)
New Delhi: India scored their first ever FIFA World Cup goal when Jeakson Singh headed home a Sanjeev Stalin corner, but Colombia ran out 2-1 winners as Juan Penaloza scored twice for the South American side in their second Group A clash in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
In the crucial fixture, both teams were edgy to start with and took time to settle down.
The contest’s first moment of excitement was provided by the Indian team after Ninthoinganba Meetei and Boris Thangjam worked themselves out of a tight corner in the final third on the right wing, and played it in for Abhijit Sarkar who saw his shot from close range saved before it hit the crossbar and went out for a corner.
It was the moment that swung the momentum of the game in favour of the boys in Blue and the crowd at JLN showed their appreciation by raising the decibels by a few notches.
Colombia’s midfield were getting overrun by the two cousins Amarjit Singh and Jeakson Singh which in turn meant the defence led by Anwar Ali stood tall against their more estabilished opponents.
The South American side’s best outlet looked to be their left flank with Leandro Campaz’s quick feet, but Boris who returned to the side after suspension kept him at bay.
Luis Norton de Matos’ side was not just charged up but more far more confident, which was evident as they were more efficient in possession, whether it was the short pass or a matter of using the long ball to good effect. Meetei, Amarjit and Jeakson were not giving the Colombians an inch in midfield.
Colombia’s best chances came in the space of a couple of minutes as half time approached as both Campaz’s header and Yadir Meneses left footed volley drew two diving saves from Dheeraj Singh.
All India needed to cap off what was a high tempo first half was their first World Cup goal, and in stoppage time, Boris weaved through Colombia’s defence to set up Rahul KP, who’s ferocious shot bounced off the cross bar.
India looked to continue in the same vein after the interval, but against the run of play Juan Penaloza put his quick feet to good use, curled it in with his left foot beyond Dheeraj to silence the otherwise vociferous crowd.
India were shell shocked and had to dig deep to regroup. The Portugese coach, de Matos, was aware he had no choice but to go for the kill, and in a double swap he brought in Nongdamba Naorem and Aniket Jadhav in place of Boris and Sarkar.
Naorem, like in the match against USA almost had an instant effect on proceedings but to the relief of Kevin Mier his shot went over.
Both the subs had, as expected brought in some much needed zest and India began to up the ante.
The final whistle was drawing closer and India’s search for an equaliser intensified.
Aniket used his speed and physicality well to win a corner from the right. The excitement touched fever pitch, and once the dead ball specialist Sanjeev Stalin swung it in, an unmarked Jeakson Singh headed it home as the JLN erupted at the sight of what was a historic goal.
The joy was short lived though as India were caught napping and Penaloza took advantage and calmly slotted it home past the onrushing Dheeraj.
India’s attempts for a second equaliser on the night went in vain as Colombia came away with a not so comfortable 2-1 win.
India who did not let Komal have a go at Colombia, will now face two time champions Ghana in their third and final group stage game on October 12, in New Delhi, where they will have to score at least four without reply to stay in contention for a third place finish in the group.
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