India have qualified for the semi-finals of the SAFF U16 Championship being held in Sylhet, Bangladesh despite suffering a disappointing loss to the hosts yesterday.
Backed by a vociferous home crowd of nearly 20,000, the Bangladesh U16s put the visitors under pressure from the kick-off. However, it was not until the 31st minute that Bangladesh broke the deadlock through Mohammad Shawon. India responded soon with Rahim Ali scoring a well-taken goal for the India U16s in the 49th minute. As the match progressed, the game opened up to become an end-to-end affair with India eventually conceding the match-deciding penalty in the 82nd minute. Mohammad Atiquzzaman Atiq stepped forward to coolly score what would be the winner from the penalty spot.
Despite the defeat, India, who now have 3 points from a possible 6, have qualified for the semi-finals. They will play the winners of the Nepal-Afghanistan match in the semi-finals on August 16th at 1730 hrs IST.
Here are the goals from the India-Bangladesh match (courtesy Football News India):