The India U-16 team lifted silverware by defeating Tajikistan 4-2 on Sunday in the four nation-tournament held in Serbia from May 9 - May 13. They remained unbeaten throughout the tournament as they drew 0-0 with the hosts while they beat Jordan 2-1.
The India colts had a resounding start to the tournament when they got the better of Jordan in the inaugural match. After falling back as early as the second minute of the match, the young guns showed character and determination to script a strong comeback and win the game 2-1.
In their next match against Serbia India could have collected all the three points if they had taken their chances in front of goal. They held their fort well though and earned a creditable 0-0 draw.
It was against Tajikistan that Bibiano Fernandes' boys played the best football. India started on the ascendancy right from the first whistle and won the game with a scoreline of 4-2, picking up seven from the possible nine points.
India were in a league of their own as Tajikistan finished a distant second in the group with only four points from three matches. They started their campaign on a winning note when they beat Jordan 2-1 but failed to overcome the Serbian challenge as they were held to a 1-1 draw.
Serbia, on the other hand, failed to make the best of their home conditions as they did not manage to bag the full three points on any occasion. They drew 2-2 against Jordan whereas Tajikistan held them 1-1.
Abdullah Alqettati's boys (Jordan) had a dismal outing as they bagged only a single point from three matches. Apart from the draw against Serbia, Jordan succumbed to narrow defeats against India and Tajikistan as they went down by a goal against both oppositions. They need to pull up their socks as they have been clubbed with DPR Korea, Oman and Yemen in the AFC U-16 Championship.
But, this win is expected to be a huge morale booster for the Indian team before participating in the AFC U-16 Championship where they have been drawn alongside Iran, Vietnam and Indonesia. The team has shown exceptional composure and character throughout the tournament against quality oppositions like Tajikistan and Jordan.
The continental competition is scheduled to place in Malaysia from September 20 to October 7, 2018.