India open SAFF U16 campaign with narrow win over Bangladesh

The India U-16 Men’s Team secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Bangladesh to open their SAFF U16 Championship campaign on Saturday, August 2, 2023, at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan.

The Ishfaq Ahmed-coached side, playing their first-ever international match, were kept at bay by some solid goalkeeping from Bangladesh’s Nahidul Islam before Thoungamba Singh Usham netted the winning goal in the 74th minute.

India began the Group A fixture on the front foot, with Vishal Yadav the main creative force in the first half. In the 14th minute, he intercepted a pass before setting up Bharat Lairenjam, whose effort was saved one-on-one by Islam. Minutes later, the Bangladesh custodian was called into action again as he tipped away Yadav’s left-footed shot on the turn.

India SAFF U16 Bangladesh

Bangladesh also had their opportunities going forward but could not test Aheibam Suraj Singh in the Indian goal. Unlike his counterpart, he enjoyed a mostly comfortable afternoon under the Thimphu sun.

Most of India’s threat in the second half came from long-range efforts. Lairenjam drove a half-volley from outside the box, which was strongly palmed away by Islam before Levis Zangminlun’s free-kick flew over the crossbar. Samson Ahongshangbam was unlucky to not score a sensational goal as his thumping free-kick from 35 yards out rattled onto the bar.

However, he found himself reeling away with joy just minutes later, joining his teammates as they celebrated Usham’s breakthrough goal. It materialised from substitute Manbhakupar Malngiang’s persistence in the final third as he stole the ball from an opponent’s feet before shooting on goal. Islam saved it yet again, but Usham was the quickest to the rebound and carefully tucked it home.

India have a four-day rest before they face Nepal in their second and final group match on September 6. Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives make up Group B. The top two teams from both groups will qualify for the semi-final.

India U16 XI: Aheibam Suraj Singh (GK), Mohammed Kaif (C), Karish Soram (Abhijit Ngariyambam 83′), Ngamgouhou Mate, Levis Zangminlun, Md Arbash, Bharat Lairenjam (Rishi Singh Ningthoukhongjam 81′), Vishal Yadav (Manbhakupar Malngiang 53′), Vumlenlal Hangshing (Yaipharemba Chingakham 46′), Samson Ahongshangbam, Thoungamba Singh Usham (Renin Singh Chingtham 81′).

Also Read: Mumbai Soccer Prodigies clinch a convincing 3-0 win over United Villagers WA

Also Read: Punjab FC signs Colombian forward Wilmar Jordan Gil

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian Football

SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…