India U17 National Team - India U17 0-1 Tajikistan U18 - Indian Colts finish last in Granatkin Cup

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Nicolai Adam's boys end up last after a loss to Tajikistan U18s in the Granatkin Memorial Tournament in Russia...

India's U17 World Cup squad narrowly lost out 0-1 to Tajikistan U18s in the 15th place playoff at the Granatkin memorial tournament being held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The game took place on Friday, 20th January 2017. The colts now have the distinction of finishing last in the sixteen team youth tournament.

The game, played in front of a few ecstatic Tajikistan supporters saw a lacklustre first half where neither of the 'keepers were called into play. Both teams started cautiously as India tried to keep most of the possession.

The backline of Boris Thangjam, Mohamad Rakip and Sanjeev Stalin did well to see off a few dangerous counter-attacks by the Central Asians. Both teams headed down the tunnel 0-0 after the first period of play.

Tajikistan's Ehsoni Panshanbe was given his marching orders in the 59th minute after the midfielder saw a second yellow after he brought down striker Joysana Singh.

Minerva Academy product Shubham Sarangi was thrown into the mix in the 66th minute as Tajikistan chose to close down space with a man down. However, the move did not pay much dividends.

Nicolai Adam's boys did well to use the length of the pitch and looked sharp as they played the passing game but Tajikistan's second-half substitute Sharipov Umarjon had other plans.

A piece of erroneous marking by Sanjeev Stalin saw Umarjon race inside the six-yard box to slot the ball home from a crisp cross in the 80th minute, much to the chagrin of Nicolai Adam.

Even though the Indians tried hard to find an equaliser, the three-man defence of Tajikistan stood strong to ensure India finished with the 'wooden spoon' in the tournament.

Nicolai Adam will have much to ponder about with little over than eight months left for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup at home. The Indian Colts played five matches and only won one, losing four of them in this particular tournament.

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