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The India Under-19 team have started their qualifying campaign with a 0-5 defeat....

India opened their AFC Under-19 Championship qualifying campaign with a 0-5 defeat against hosts Iraq in a Group C encounter on Thursday evening. 

Iraq took the lead as early as the tenth minute when Amjed Waleed Hussein who converted a cross from the right flank. India could have equalized shortly but Manandeep failed direct his header goalwards.

The hosts were threatening to get the second and did just that in the 34th minute when a mistake from Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu presented an easy chance to Mustafa Jouda Abdullah Al-Shammari which he didn’t waste.

Down by two goals at the break, India needed a strong second half performance to comeback in the game. But all such hopes were ended by Waleed Hussien who slotted the ball past Gurpreet with a fine left footed finish.

Iraq added two more goals in the last fifteen minutes through Mohaimen Saleem Mallakh and Mohamed Saad Abdullah.

For India substitute Malswamfela missed a few good chances in the second half.

In the other group game Saudi Arabia defeated Afghanistan 5-1. India’s next match is against Saudi Arabia on Saturday, 7th November. India