India earn morale boosting win over Italy
NEW DELHI, 19th May: The India U-17 World Cup squad stunned their fancied Italian counterparts 2-0 in Arizo, Italy on Friday. The win epitomises the grit and determination of the Indian Colts who have been grinding together since February 2013. Strikes by Abhijit Sarkar (31') and Rahul Praveen (80') led their team to a massive win over the 'Azzuri' in a match largely dominated by the Indian Colts in terms of possession and chances created.
India got off the blocks and gave the opposition a tough time. Komal Thatal's 8th minute strike went whiskers past the Italian custodian as India hunted in packs for an early lead. In the 13th minute, Aniket came close to opening the goal scoring charts for India but his effort went straight down the keeper's throat resulting in an easy save.
In the 31st minute, however, the goal for the India came when Sarkar's cross took a wicked deflection off the Italian defence line and ended up in the back of the opposition net. After India led 1-0 at half-time, the Colts searched to extend the their lead and safeguard the result. In the 59th minute, Aniket missed a one versus one chance against the Italian goalkeeper after he rounded the opposition custodian up but failed to convert.
Rahul in the 75th minute came close to scoring when he failed to tap the ball home from handshaking distance after Aniket's shot had earned an uncanny save by the Italian custodian. Goal scoring chances every now and then had to bear fruits and it did for the India in the 80th minute when Rahul scored from inside the box to double India's lead.
All India Football Federation, the governing body of Indian Football has been providing rigorous exposure trips to the U17 World Cup Squad for the last couple of years, all in an effort to field a competitive Team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which is slated to kick-off later this year.