New Delhi: In a Group A fixture of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup India suffered another defeat. The home side lost by a slender 1-2 margin to Colombia. However, the way young Indian team played won hearts and it was one of the nights when luck was not on their side.
A brace from Juan Penaloza (49th, 83rd minute) helped the visitors seal their first victory and earn three points.
Jeakson Singh Thounaojam etched his name in India’s football history in the 82nd minute when he headed in off a corner to become the first Indian to score at a FIFA World Cup at any age group.
Both India and Colombia were looking to find their first victory in the tournament, after losing to the US and Ghana respectively in their initial fixtures. The match began with both Colombia and India playing a procession of long balls from defence to forward in order to find a breakthrough.
India vs Colombia Match in Numbers
Ball Possession: India 32%-68% Colombia
Attempts: India 6-18 Colombia
On-Target: India 4-7 Colombia
Off-Target: India 2-8 Colombia
Blocked: India 0-3 Colombia
Fouls: India 3-10 Colombia
Corners: India 2-8 Colombia
Offsides: India 3-8 Colombia
Free Kicks: India 18-6 Colombia
Saves: India 5-3 Colombia
In the dying minutes of the first-half, forward Rahul Kannoly, who was left unmarked got the best chance for India but his 22-yard off the goal returned back hitting the post.
In the second-half, the morale of the Indian team suddenly looked down after giving away the opening goal. Colombia took it to their advantage and advanced time and again on the flanks, where the hosts left spaces wide open for the opponents to attack.
Penaloza broke the deadlock for Colombia in the second half, running into space and sending a curling ball inches above Indian goalkeeper Dheeraj Moirangthem to the far corner.
India responded by scoring the equaliser from a corner delivered by Sanjeev Stalin which was headed in by Jeakson, who was left unmarked at the near post.
The celebration of India’s first ever FIFA World Cup goal did not last long as Peneloza timed his run to perfection and scored the winner for Colombia in the very next minute.
In the final minutes of the match, India tried to combine and utilise the precious moments to find an equaliser but failed to do so giving away too many balls to the strong Colombia attack.
(With IANS inputs)