New Delhi: India put up a spirited display in their 2-1 loss against Colombia in the FIFA under-17 World Cup Group A clash on Monday at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in the capital.
The stage was set for the India under-17 team to forget their 3-0 humbling at the hands of USA in the opening match of the World Cup on Friday. They did not disappoint either as they fought like warriors and were on the front foot throughout the match.
It was a case of missed opportunities for India. Number 17 Rahul Kannoly hit the crossbar in the opening half and a goal then would have changed the narrative of the game.
First half was all about India attacking and the visitors defending, other than a few moments when Colombia gave the hosts a scare. Indian ‘keeper Dheeraj Moirangthem was excellent with his saves and showed his shot-stopping prowess here.
The second half began where it started for India. They were attacking right from the outset but were caught out of possession and the visitors broke the deadlock in the 48th minute with number 11 Juan Penaloza scoring to give them the lead.
India kept on pushing hard for an equaliser and it bore fruit in the 82nd minute courtesy a thumping header by Jeakson Thounaojam. As soon as the celebrations abated, India were caught on the counter and were punished by the visitors as Penaloza made it 2-1 for Colombia.
Jeakson entered the history books as he became the first-ever Indian to score a goal for India in a FIFA world cup.
Despite the loss, India have earned ardent admirers and this performance will go down as part of history in Indian football.