U17 World Cup: Jeakson Singh was Indian midfield’s heartbeat

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The Minerva FC player put in a commendable shift in the middle of the park against Colombia…

Most would have taken notice of Jeakson Singh after he scored in the 82nd minute to be India’s first goal scorer in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

A moment which would remain in the memories of those present at the stadium or for those who watched it on television or their mobile phones. This would be talked over and over about.

It was indeed a top notch performance by Jeakson Singh irrespective of the fact that he scored.

He was winning 50:50 duels and would close the opponent down, hustle him in order to win the ball back. On most occasions, his passing was simple as he would instinctively know where his team-mates were positioned. He did a lot of dirty work in the midfield and would often drop further back to help his two centre-backs, Namit Deshpande and Anwar Ali.

In the first half, when Boris Singh created the opportunity from which Rahul Kannoly struck the post, the move started with Namit and Jeakson. The centre-back towered over a Colombian and headed it towards Jeakson. The midfielder linked with Boris and showed brilliant control to keep the ball. His final pass for Boris allowed the right-back to move in space and send a lofted ball for Rahul.

Jackson Singh Thounaojam India U17

After the introduction of Nongdamba Naorem, the Minerva FC attacking midfielder was immediately sent through on goal in what was his first involvement in the game. Aniket Jadhav received the ball on the left and in turn set it up for Naorem. The former DSK product unfortunately shot straight at Kevin Mier, the Colombian custodian.

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What many would have missed in the move is the fact that the move was initiated by Jeakson. The Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA) product won the ball in the midfield and spotted Aniket in space to immediately find the Kolhapur-born attacker.

In his own words, he calls himself a number six. Someone who is tactically adept at reading the game and whose passing range is wide. He also acts as a defensive screen by not allowing the opponent’s best midfielder to see a lot of the ball. He rarely gave Yadir Meneses, who has been referred as the next James Rodriguez in Colombia, an opportunity to create. Yadir's best attempt came from a free-kick which was thwarted by Dheeraj Moirengthem.Thus, we saw Colombia coach Orlando Restrepo change his team's tactics at half-time by choosing to attack through the wings instead. H

On Monday evening, India found a new hero in Jeakson Singh in the 82nd minute. For football connoisseurs, he already had made an impression in the first half.

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