India rally to hold China to a draw after scoring in stoppage time, to finish the campaign on an encouraging note...In their last group match of the AFC U-16 Championships, India fought back from being 2-1 down to level the match in stoppage time. This was India's second draw of the competition. Danny Lalhimpuia and Myron Mendes netted for India, while Wang Jinxian and Zhang Yuning were on the scoresheet for China.
Despite conceding an early free kick, China were dominant, largely pegging back the Indians in their own half, even forcing a save from keeper Supratim Bhattacharya. However after withstanding the Chinese pressure, the Indians started to get a foothold in the game.
In a match that India had to win to have any chance of making it out of the group, they started playing with more purpose, with Lalhimpuia just offside for their first opportunity on the counter. Not long after China keeper Chen Wei saved a cross from Germanpreet Singh, India went ahead.
Raja Rawat set up Danny Lalhimpuia with a threaded pass. The striker displayed great composure in slotting his finish past Chen. But the Indians euphoria was cut short soon after.
Within two minutes, India conceded a corner, with Wang Jinxian heading it in from the set piece.
It was to get worse for India. In 33rd minute Zhang Yuning picked up the ball on the edge of the area and fired on goal. Bhattacharya looked to have that shot well covered, but a wicked deflection off defender Sajid Dhot sent the ball looping into the goal.
In the second half, the possession was more even, as both teams looked to play on the break. China were now trying to get the next goal that would possibly seal a win and a place in the next round. It showed that they had more shots on target than India in the second half, one of the shots even coming off the crossbar.
Captain Laramzuava, Germanpreet, Uttam Rai were starting to move up in support of Danny. This pressure up the pitch paid off in the 93rd minute as substitute Vanlalduatsanga was pushed in the area. Myron Mendes stepped up to convert from the spot and broke the Chinese hearts.
The result sees India finish at the bottom with 2 points from 3 games, while China finish on 3 points after drawing all their group games. Syria qualified as group toppers, while this result helped Uzbekistan to qualify as the second placed team.
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