India U-14 beat Afghanistan 2-1 in the U-14 SAARC tournament opener

Indian striker Krishna Pandit scored both the goals in the first half of the game, which proved enough for Sajid Dar's outfit to claim a victory...
India U-14 beat Afghanistan U-14 side 2-1 in the opening tie of the SAARC tournament played at the Tokinosumika Sports Center in Shizuka, Japan.

The Indian side scored from their first attack after kickoff itself, when Krishna Pandit scored the tournament's quickest goal that took only 30 seconds. The move started off from Amey Rananwade's pass which Pandit chipped over the Afghan keeper.

It didn't take long for Pandit to strike again, as the youngster completed his brace in the fifth minute from another combination play with Rananwade, who send in an inch perfect cross from the right, from which the striker made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

However, India were unable to add to their tally for the rest of the half, as the score read 2-0 in favour of Dar's side during the break.

After the changing of sides, it was Afghanistan who tried their best to fight back, but a solid Indian defense comprising Jerry, Amit Tudu and Amey stood in their way.

The trailing side eventually managed to pull one back in the injury time, in a match that was played in two halves, each of 25 minutes duration.

Speaking after the match, India U-14 head coach Sajid Dar said, “This is a good exposure for us and the overall development (of the side) stays the priority. We played in a 4-3-3 format and the boys stayed keen on keeping possession throughout (the game).”

Assistant coach, Goutam Ghosh added, “This was the first time the boys played on an artificial turf and they adapted well. They implemented all that has been taught (to them) in the training sessions.”

Other participant countries in the tournament are - Japan Football Association Academy 1, Japan Football Association Academy 2, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal are also taking part in the championship. India will be playing four matches in the competition.

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