India U-17 National Team holds Benfica U-17 to a gritty 2-2 stalemate in Portugal

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The Indian colts showed plenty of determination to go toe to toe with their much vaunted Portuguese opponents....

The Indian U17 national football team held Benfica's U17 side to a 2-2 draw at the Seixal Stadium, in Portugal, as part of their exposure trip to Europe ahead of the U17 World Cup in India

Jitendra and Shahajahan were the goalscorers for India in the 79th minute and 85th minute respectively while Benfica scored a double within two minutes on the 73rd minute mark through Sergio and Gomes.

A dominant Benfica played possession football which meant India were playing mostly on the counter. It was, in fact, the Blue Tigers who had the first real chance of the match in the 18th minute when Jackson and Rahul combined but the striker could not beat the Portuguese goalkeeper.

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While the scores were tied at half time, Benfica came out all guns blazing and a two minute double after the 70th minute really put them into the driver's seat. The Indian defense was caught napping in the lethal Sergio and Gomes double.

However, the goals rejuvenated the Indian side and they scored a double of their own. First it was Jitendra Singh who scored a fine header off a Sanjeev free-kick in the 79th minute. 

In the 85th minute Shahjahan scored the equaliser with a piledriver giving the Benfica keeper no chance.

The U-17 team under Luis Matos is to take on the youth teams of Italy and Portugal as well before participating in the Lazio Cup in May.

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