It’s been 4 weeks since the Hero Under-15 Youth League kicked-off, and the competition is really heating up! The Goa Zone (Group C) started off the week’s proceedings, when Dempo Sports Club U15 handed Sporting Club de Goa U15 a 5-0 hammering on Tuesday. Dempo were quick to start, scoring as early as the 9th minute. Baggio Fernandes then netted the ball in the 30th minute again, giving Dempo a 2-0 lead before half time. In the second half, Aaron Alvarez fired a brace, and assisted a third to give Dempo a massive 5-0 victory.
Image Credit: Mumbai FC Facebook Page
The Hero U15 Youth League is well underway, and the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A) is ready to kick-off this weekend’s matches. Mohun Bagan AC U15 will host East Bengal FC U15 at 2:00 p.m. today. This match is sure to be a close one. Will Mohun Bagan AC be able to claim their 2nd win? Or will East Bengal FC fight hard for their 1st victory of the season?
On Saturday evening, the Maharashtra Zone (Group B) will see Kenkre FC U15 lock horns with Steadfast Mumbai Rush SC U15 at the Cooperage ground in Mumbai. Both teams are currently fighting for their first win, and this match could be a game changer for either Mumbai team.
Other fixtures lined up this weekend in the U15 Youth League are:
- Tata Football Academy U15 v United SC U15 (22 Nov, 1400 hrs, JRD Sports Complex)
- Mohammedan SC U15 v SAI-East U15 (22 Nov, 1400 hrs, Mohammedan Sporting Ground)
- Pune FC U15 v PIFA Sports U15 (22 Nov, 1530 hrs, Pune FC Training Pitches, Mamurdi)
- DSK Shivajians FC U15 v Mumbai FC U15 (22 Nov, 1730 hrs, DSK Football Field)
- Dempo Sports Club U15 v Salgaocar FC U15 (23 Nov, 1600 hrs, Navelim Ground)
- Sporting Clube de Goa U15 v SAI-Goa U15 (24 Nov, 1600 hrs, Don Bosco Ground)
With the long Diwali weekend on, this Friday saw two Hero Under-15 Youth League matches being played. In the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A), Mohun Bagan AC U15 met SAI-East U15 on Friday afternoon at the Mohun Bagan ground. The hosts were put on the defensive when SAI-East’s Israfil Dewan netted the ball just before half time. He scored again in the second half, giving them a lead of 2-0. A late goal in the 79th minute by Mohun Bagan’s Kartick Mondal, however, was not enough for the team and the hosts ended up with a 2-1 loss. At the Cooperage ground on Friday evening, the Maharashtra Zone (Group B) saw an exciting match between Mumbai FC U15 and PIFA Sports U15. Goals by Clivert Millar and Kamran Ansari in the 22nd and 82nd minute respectively gave Mumbai FC a comfortable win over their local rivals.
Image Credit: Mumbai FC
With a long week of Diwali holidays for schools around the country, we have a couple of weekday kick-offs in the Hero U15 Youth League. Mohun Bagan AC U15 started the proceedings in the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A) this afternoon with a game against SAI-East U15. Playing at home, the young Mariners succumbed to an Ishrafil brace before Kartick Mondal pulled one back for the hosts. Later this evening, we will see the Maharashtra Zone (Group B) in action with Mumbai FC U15 hosting PIFA Sport U15 at Cooperage in what promises to be a closely fought encounter between the traditional Mumbai rivals.
Other fixtures lined up this weekend in the U15 Youth League are:
Six games were played in Week 2 of the Hero Under-15 Youth League matches, and we’re here to give you a glimpse of what went on. In the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A), Tata Football Academy U15 came face-to-face with Mohun Bagan AC U15 at 2 pm on Saturday at JRD Sports Complex. While the first half ended goalless, three quick goals in the 50th, 53rd and 71st minutes gave Mohun Bagan a comfortable 3-0 victory over TFA. The SAI Ground in Kolkata witnessed a mighty clash on Sunday afternoon, with East Bengal FC U15 taking the lead with a quick 11th minute goal by Kousik Santra. However, SAI-East U15 equalised in the beginning of the second half, when Abhijit Mondal netted the ball in the 52nd minute. The game would end in a 1-1 draw. The match between Mohammedan SC U15 and United SC U15 was goalless until the 66th minute when a goal from Surajuddin Munshi secured a 1-0 victory for Mohammedan SC U15.
The much awaited Hero Under-15 Youth League kicked off last weekend in the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A) with a lot of fanfare and the Maharashtra Zone (Group B) is now set to start tomorrow. Saturday’s game sees traditional Mumbai rivals, Mumbai FC playing Kenkre FC at Cooperage followed by a couple of more games on Sunday featuring Pune FC against DSK Shivajians FC at the Pune FC Training Pitches, Mamurdi and PIFA Sports taking on debutants, Steadfast Academy in Bhiwandi.
While giving U15s competitive match experience is a key objective of the Youth League, another important consideration of the league is to see clubs promoting local talent, ideally from within their existing grassroots program.
Far removed from the floodlights of the Indian Super League, there’s a quiet buzz around I-League club offices across the country. The Under-18 I-League has already started in almost all zones, but it’s the Under-15 Youth League that has captured everybody’s attention within the football fraternity – coaches and parents alike. Several meetings and delays later, it’s finally happening – India’s Under-15 Youth League is here and all set to begin tomorrow. The first match of the league will see Mohammedan Sporting Club host Mohun Bagan AC in a Kolkata derby with other zonal leagues around the country slated to kick off within a week.
The AIFF, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and School Sports Promotion Foundation (SSPF) have come together to launch a Football National Talent Search & Nurture program as India prepare to host the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2017. The football talent hunt is structured from the bottom up – starting at schools, moving up to district level, then further to the state level until, finally, the very best talents from each state compete at a national-level to earn a place on coach, Nicolai Adam’s India Under-17 squad.
The program has already kicked off in regions across the country and is open to all players born on or after 1 January, 2000. Geared to provide young footballers the opportunity to showcase their skills and impress the coaches, there is a lot riding on the success of this talent hunt. Undoubtedly, the scale of the initiative is massive and strewn with challenges, but the hope is that the federation will unearth some hidden gems along the way.
India U16 Team – AFC U16 Qualifiers
Image Credits: AIFF Media
Despite being chosen as hosts for the 2016 AFC Under-16 Championships, India put in the hard yards and qualified on merit as one of the third best runners-up among 11 groups. Coach Nicolai Adam‘s young team put in a creditable performance beating Bahrain 5-0 and Lebanon 6-0 with a 0-3 loss to Iran sandwiched between the two wins.
India’s positive results brought more good news for South Asian football as their entry on merit enabled the Nepal U16s to qualify for the tournament from Group B. While the results have been excellent, it was more encouraging to see the Indian colts play an attractive style of football, create chances and score nice goals. Further, their performances even drew accolades from opposition coaches:
India U16 lost to Iran U16: 0-3
(Sharfi 15, Khodamoradi 43, Ghaderi 57)
India’s Under-16 team lost 0-3 to the Iran Under-16s in their penultimate AFC U16 Championship qualifying match in Tabriz City, Iran. Coming into the match on the back of a successful Germany tour and a big win over the Bahrain U16s, the Indians had been quietly confident of giving the hosts a good fight.
The Indian colts actually began strongly as they dominated the opening ten minutes with quality possession. However, Iran scored first in the 15th minute against the run of play. Not to be deterred, the India U16s kept pouring forward but, despite their best efforts, were unable to break down the Iranian defence. Despite the pressure, it was Iran who scored again two minutes before half-time which left the Indians going into the break two goals down. It then got worse in the 57th minute when Iran scored their third goal after which both teams seemed resigned to the result.
The game ended at 0-3 in favour of Iran. The young Blue Tigers will take on the Lebanon U16s who lost 1-2 to Bahrain earlier in the day.
To read the match report, click here.