Failure to convert chances hurt India U-16 team as they lost their first match against China U-17 0-1 in the four-nation tournament at Wei Nan City on Tuesday. The Indian Colts are currently on a month-long exposure tour as part of preparations ahead of the AFC U-16 Championship.
The visitors, coached by Bibiano Fernandes, had ample opportunities to score but couldn't convert their chances after the hosts pulled ahead at the stroke of half-time thanks to a terrific close-range finish from Liu Junxian.
Goalkeeper Biaka's efforts kept India in the game in the early stages of the match as China got off to a quick start. The visitors slowly grew into the game and Ridge De'Mello almost produced a belter of a goal at the half-hour mark. His powerful shot struck the woodwork not long before Vikram sent his effort wide, helping India grow in confidence.
The hosts killed the momentum with a well-worked goal in the 42nd minute. A defence-splitting pass left India exposed in their own box as Liu Junxian drifted wide to the right and blasted the ball into the net, beating Biaka at his near-post.
The Blues created plenty of chances during their spirited second-half display but were utterly wasteful in front of goal. A glaring Rohit Danu miss from close range in the 63rd minute summarized India's goal-scoring woes perfectly.
India U-16s will now face Thailand and DPR Korea on July 5 and July 7 respectively.