AFC U-19 Qualifiers: India defeat Garhwal FC in friendly, get ready for Arab tour

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The coach handed playing minutes to almost all the players at the camp and tried out different combinations.

A motley crew of 100-odd people looked on from the sidelines as India U-19 probables defeated Delhi-based Garhwal FC 1-0 in a friendly played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital on Sunday evening.

Lalawampuia, who had scored a brace against Bhutan in the recently concluded SAFF U-19 Championship scored in the first half, after partnering Edmund Lalrindika upfront. In the second half, Aniket Jadhav rattled the woodwork once after being fed by Rahim Ali, but failed to make a mark otherwise.

The contest was entirely dominated by the Colts as they saw more of the ball throughout the game, but could only create a handful of clear-cut opportunities, with the final pass missing on many occasions. The opponents were unimpressive and ran out of gas after the break. Former India U-19 defender Nitesh Chikara was the only player, who has played top level football in the past.

The 17 members of the World Cup squad are now vying for a place in the starting XI, with 12 new faces joining from Floyd Pinto's U-19 set-up.

"I approach a friendly match like a practice session and we were trying to see how the new boys adapt to the system. We were the better team today and in the second half, I don't remember seeing the opponents creating any chances," Matos told Goal after the match.

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As reported yesterday, Anwar Ali and Rahul Kannoly are nursing injuries and didn't play any role in Sunday's proceedings but the former Benfica youth development coach said that he expects both to be available for selection.

"We are here for three more days and I expect them to recover by then," he added.

The team will be flying to Doha to face Qatar U-19 in a friendly before reaching Dammam, where they have been grouped with Yemen, Turkmenistan and hosts Saudi Arabia.

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