Panaji: India got off to a perfect start in the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) U-15 Championship) thrashing Nepal 5-0 at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal on Wednesday.
The boys being coached under Bibiano Fernandes’ who recently returned from an exposure tour to Thailand were leading by three goals at half-time through Maheson Singh (5’), Shubho Paul (24’) and Anish Mazumder (43’). The tally was completed by Taison Singh (49’) and Sridarth Nongmeikapam (56’) in the second half.
India went into lead early in the first half, as it was Maheson who sneaked in from the left and found the top corner with a powerful shot in the fifth minute.
The next goal for India came through Maheson and this time he got the better of his marker on the right flank to send in a low cross for Shubho to steer the ball into the back of the net in the 24th minute.
Nepal on the other hand would have liked to prevent any further damage but it was skipper Anish Mazumder who rose highest to nod in the third in the 43rd minute.
India continued on the same footing in the second half and it took less than five minutes for them to get on the scoresheet again as Taison Singh curled in a left-footed free-kick into the top corner.
Sridarth Nongmeikapam followed up by taking the onus on him as he was the played a through ball in the 56th minute. He made no mistake and took to make it 5-0 in his side’s favour.
India will next face Bhutan on August 25th and Bangladesh on August 29th. The eventual group winners and runners-up will be involved in the final on August 31st.
(With inputs from agencies)