The young prospects have impressed in their Netherlands' sojourn so far having made it into the semis...The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Under-16 academy boys reached the cross finals of the Youth International Tournament Heemserk, Netherlands after pulling off a string of superb performances on Saturday.
The Colts won two matches and drew one to finish second in the group due to a superior goal difference and set up a tie with the champions of the other group, the Under-17 side of Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The match is scheduled on Sunday, where both the teams will vie to seal a berth in the final.
The International Youth Tournament is an eight team affair with two groups of four followed by cross finals for the places 1-8. This implies that the top two teams of two groups face each other in a crisscross manner with winners playing in the final and losers occupying third and fourth place respectively. The bottom four spots are also decided in a similar fashion.
The matches are of 50 minutes duration with a provision of penalty shoot-out straight after the regulation time if the scoreline is deadlocked. The final will have a provision of 15 minute extra-time if needed.
In the first match of the day against Deportivo Saint Maickol, India won 1-0, courtesy a late goal from Nijwm Muchahary after the Assam born player was fed with a pass by Anirudh Thapa.
The scoreline in the next match was also the same with S.B.V. Excelsior defeated by a solitary goal, which was scored by Prosenjit Chakroborty from a spot-kick deep into the second half.
The Indian boys conceded their first goal of the day in the match against FC Volendam, the defending champions of the tournament.
However, the core of the Indian U-16 football team showed enough grit to come back and Surya Tirkey and Bedashwor Singh scoring the two all-important goals, with Thapa providing elegant assists for the duo.