India’s Under-17 national team was defeated by Nepal 1-3 in the second match of the SAIF Under-17 Championship being played at Race Course International Stadium on Friday.
Danny Meitei gave India the lead in the 25th minute. But Nepal returned to the game with Saroj Darlami equalizing before half-time. Goals from Unesh Budathoki (49′) and Subhash Bam (68′) in the second half created problems for Nepal in the second half.
In a slow start to the game, Bobby Singh and Neeraj Karki got a chance each in the opening exchanges for India and Nepal respectively, but both failed to convert. A few minutes later, Danny Meitei made the best of the opportunity as he caught a stray ball inside the Nepal penalty box and locked it at home to give India the lead.
Putting more effort in the opposition arena, India grew in confidence after taking the lead. However, seconds before the half-time whistle, Saroj Darlami made a perfect scorer from long distance to put things back in level condition. Seeing India goalkeeper Sahil slightly off the line, Saroj struck a volley as it dipped into the top corner.
Nepal retaliated and showed a lot of strength in the second half. A lucky rebound fell at the feet of Budathoki, who duly netted it to give Nepal the lead in the 49th minute.
Winger Subhash Bam hit the final nail when he was played through an aerial through ball from behind the Indian defence, which he duly brought down, and dodged a flamboyant Sahil under the Indian bar.
India had since wanted to launch several invasions into Nepal territory, but the opposition defenders persevered.
India U-17: Sahil (GK), Vanlalpeka Guite, Ricky Meitei, Manjot Singh Dhami, Balkaran Singh (Malemnamba Singh ’19’, Aman 87′), Gurnaz Singh Grewal, Korou Singh ‘Lalpekhlua 72′, Thanglasoun Gangte, Bobby Singh (Fazan Waheed 72′), Surajkumar Singh, Danny Meitei (N’Rin Shaza 72’)