India U16 beat UAE U16 1-0 in a friendly match at the TYAEB AWNA on Sunday, courtesy of a goal from second-half substitute Suhail Ahmed Bhat.
In the previous encounter, the Blue Colts were outclassed 3-0 but they showed strong character to make a comeback and win the next game. However, it was the hosts who started on the front foot and made several inroads into the Indian defence.
It was one-way traffic in the first half, but the defenders showed grit and determination to weather the storm and kept the scoreline unchanged as both teams headed towards the tunnel.
Bibiano Fernandes' team talk must have spurred the boys as after the break, the visitors began to dominate the proceedings.
The coach brought on Suhail Ahmed Bhat in the 55th minute in place of Himangshu Jangra. Around the hour-mark, he was almost through on goal but his effort sailed wide of the post. Three minutes later, Ebindas' effort also missed the target.
However, in the 79th-minute, the deadlock was finally broken and India were rewarded for their persistence. After Tyson Singh latched on to a through ball from midfield on the right wing, he burnt his pace to leave behind his marker and drilled in a low cross inside the penalty box. Suhail was waiting for the delivery and the striker made no mistake to dispatch the ball into the net to give India the lead.
It was his first strike in national colours and the youngster dedicated his goal to his teammates.
"I'm very happy to have scored my first international goal. I would like to dedicate this goal to my teammates. It was a result of pure team effort and nothing else," said the Kashmiri striker.
Fernandes was also ecstatic after the result and praised his team's mentality as they were coming back from a 3-0 loss.
"I'm happy with the boys' performance. We could have done well in the first match but we regrouped well and got the result tonight. This victory will provide the boys with the belief and the boost that we're looking for. That'll be very helpful for the future," Fernandes expressed.