Faiaz's late strike gives India well-deserved win
Doha, Oct 7 - India rode a late strike from substitute S. K. Faiaz to script a well-deserved victory against neighbours Nepal in their second match in Group A of the AFC U-19 Championship (Qualifiers) here at the Al Arabi Stadium.
With Sunday night's win, India now have three points from two matches.
"It was a great performance. We showed that we are a 90-minute Team," Head Coach Colm Joseph Toal said post-match.
"I thought we dominated the game for long spells. Even if we would not have won, I would have been happy for the way these Boys played tonight. The fact that we got a goal in the last five minutes shows their strong character too. There was a lot of support for Nepal. It was a great learning experience for them," he added.
Collecting possession from just outside the box after Gurba Gagrai had slipped in a delicious pass; Faiaz sped past defenders and made no mistake in slotting home from close range with goalkeeper Alan Neupane only managing to deflect his shot into the goal.
It was like a home match for the Nepalese as a strong 5,000 odd spectators turned up to get behind them.
India though were not overawed by the away-match feel. On the offensive from the word go, captain Souvik Das dinked a cross inside the area for Kumam Udanta Singh who scooped his 11th minute effort over the bar.
Nepal could hardly make any inroads as Colm Toal's wards turned on the heat on their `noisy' neighbours with back-to-back corners kicks.
Trying to curtail India's industry in the final third, Nepal brought in more numbers behind the ball. Udanta's stinging grounder went inches off target while Deory headed agonisingly wide.
India were finally rewarded three minutes from regulation time with Faiaz crowning a great display with a fine strike.
India next play Uzbekistan Thursday.
India: Vishal Kaith; Gurba Gagrai, Pawan Kumar, Sajid Mohd. Dhot, Soraisam Pritam Kumar Singh; Lalrempuia Fanai, Souvik Das (C), Germanpreet Singh, ; Kumam Udanta Singh, Daniel Lalhlimpuia (SK Faiaz - 59th), Shaiborlang Kharpan (Alen Deory - 69th)