India U16 beat Liwa FC in their first friendly in UAE

India U16AIFF Media

India U16 started their UAE (United Arab Emirates) sojourn on a bright note by beating 1-0 the U19 team of local side Liwa FC in a friendly encounter at the Spanish Soccer School Ground in Sports City.  

The blue colts were supposed to play their first match on January 15 against Al Hamriyah FC but the match had to be cancelled because of a few Coronavirus cases in the opposition camp. Four players in their team had tested positive. 

The Indian team management then arranged a last-minute friendly with Liwa FC.

The match started on an even keel but Bibiano Fernandes' boys gradually took control of the game as the match progressed. They were asking questions of Liwa's defence but the hosts held their fort for the first 45 minutes. 

India continued to take the initiative once the match resumed and were pressing in advanced areas. They were finally rewarded for their persistence in the 71st minute when Liwa failed to play out from the back and gave away possession in the penalty box, courtesy of some quick closing down by Ebindas. 

The midfielder snatched possession from the centre back and after a touch fired in a shot in the right top corner to give India the breakthrough. In the 77th minute, the goalscorer was substituted by Sibajit Singh as the coach wanted more fresh legs in the final quarter of the match. 

In the final 10 minutes, the hosts finally showed some attacking intent and got out of their defensive cocoon.  India's keeper Lionel Rymnei was called into action on a couple of occasions but the young shot-stopper dealt comfortably with their attempts.

Defender Amandeep made a crucial contribution with a goal-line save in the 87th minute to keep the scoreline in India's favour. 

They are set to take on UAE U16 in the final two matches of the exposure trip on January 21 and 24 respectively.