Young Indian custodian Niraj Kumar has been chosen as Goal's Rising Star of the Month for September after a terrific display in the AFC U16 Championships for the India Colts.
Young Niraj has been a part of the India U16 side which has been travelling the globe extensively for preparation tours where they have been taking on top quality teams.
Niraj has fast established himself as a player to watch out for among India's crop of emerging goalkeepers with a terrific run of performances in the AFC U16 Championships.
After beating Vietnam 1-0 where Niraj kept a cleansheet, he came into his own in the next match. India U16 held their Iranian counterparts to a 0-0 draw to ensure they are in a good position to qualify for the group stages.
It was Niraj who shined on the night with a brilliant penalty save that kept the scores unchanged and helped India clinch a point.
India custodian Niraj Kumar was called into action early with a couple of long-range attempts from Iran and was up to the task. Iran’s onslaught on the Indian goal continued as the half progressed with Niraj being kept busy.
He was not done. A foul in the Indian box resulted in an Iranian penalty in the 75th minute of the match but the sensational Niraj guessed correctly before pulling off an excellent save.
The tall custodian would then help India progress to the knockout stages where they would lose out narrowly to South Korea.
Ultimately, Niraj's stellar show gave India a great tournament and he is rightly named as Goal's Rising Star of the Month!