The Union Minister Youth Affairs & Sports, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, hailed the India U16 team who made it to the quarter-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship after 16 years.
What a proud moment for India! @IndianFootball qualifies for AFC U-16 quarterfinals for the first time in 16 years!— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) September 28, 2018
Best wishes to our talented bright youngsters for their future matches! This is a very promising result for Indian football.@abhiy10 https://t.co/XThHoyMEHl
He termed it as a proud moment for India after the Young Colts put in a steely performance against group-toppers Indonesia to churn out a 0-0 draw and finish second.
Convinced by the plan put forward by All India Football Federation's (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das and Abhishek Yadav (Director of Indian National Teams), Rahul Bhatnagar (Sports Secretary) and Neelam Kapoor (Director General, SAI) helped finalise a massive grant for the India U16 team at the start of this year so that the team is able to participate in foreign tournaments.
While the preparations for the continental competition have been in full swing since the turn of 2017, they intensified it in 2018 and the results are there for everyone to see.
After defeating Vietnam in the opener, India managed to hold back former U 16 champions Iran in their second match of the group. While requiring only a point to progress to the knock-outs Bibiano Fernandes' boys did not put a foot wrong against Indonesia and salvaged a hard-fought point.
India will next face the winner of Group D on October 1 in the quarter-finals.