After a nail-biting encounter where parity was restored after 90 minutes, the young Indian lads kept their cool and made the country proud by winning the semi-finals..India went past Afghanistan 4-3 in a nervy penalty shootout to enter the finals of the U-16 SAFF Cup, after both the teams failed to break the deadlock in the 90 minutes of play.
India, who are being represented by AIFF Regional Academy’s U-15 boys, were victorious after Bedashwor Singh, Prosenjit Chakraborty, Surya Tirkey and Aaron Rodrigues found the back of the net. Krishna Pandit’s effort from eight yards, hit the woodwork.
For Afghanistan, Wazari, Nasar Ahmed and Saradri Amanullah scored, while skipper Said Jalal Hussain and Mortazo failed to convert from the spot.
Goutam Ghosh, the Indian gaffer didn't change the line-up much from the last match, starting in the usual 4-3-3 formation. The opponents however made a few early breakthroughs, though they hardly created any problem for Indian custodian M Dheeraj Singh. The young lads created a few chances of their own. The best of them was for the taking of the Indian captain. Prosenjit Chakraborty's header from a corner somehow went straight into the hands of the Afghan shot-stopper.
In the second half. Afghanistan were the better of the two sides, but they could never really threaten the Indian defense, barring an occasion when Nasar Ahmed went in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Dheeraj.
The semifinal clash headed straight into the tie-breaker after ninety minutes failed to separate the two outfits.
Goutam Ghosh's boys will now face Nepal in the final on Tuesday in their bid to grab the bragging rights.