The India Colts battled it out for a 2-2 draw against Turkmenistan U-19 in spite of going down to ten men in the eighth minute of the match, which was their final game of Group A of the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers with the team already having no chance of qualification.
While Berenov and Kovusov scored for the Turks, the Indian goals were scored by Sarthak Golui and Kuman Singh.
Head coach Colm Toal was proud of the performance as India slugged it out for the entire match.
“When you play with ten men for 86 minutes of the match, it is very difficult to win. Our Boys showed what they are made of by not only dishing out a spirited display but also dominating large parts of the second half.”
India went down to ten men even before ten minutes, with Defender Sajid Dhot sent off for handling the ball inside the penalty box and Berenov opened the scoring easily from the spot.
In spite of the numerical disadvantage, India maintained their shape and could have equalised int he 34th minute itself as Isaac Chaakchuak almost scored.
Some choice words from Toal in the half time rejevunated India as they went looking for the equaliser and it took only three minutes for Golui to head the ball in convincingly from a Germanpreet Singh corner.
It was India then who did all the attacking in the final third of the match. Kumam Singh missed a couple of sitters while Isaac was a force to reckon with down the right flank. It was Germanpreet again who provided the assist as Kumam finally made it count beating the Turkmenistan goalkeeper, Atabayev with a low shot to give India the lead.
Unfortunately India could not run away with the deserved win as Turkmenistan equalised only a minute later after a melee in the box gave Kovusov the chance to equalise.