Although for a brief period, India lived the dream of playing in a FIFA tournament. A 6-day span saw the rise of the minnows in the U-17 World Cup being played at home. The tournament opener saw India go down to USA 3-0. In the following match, Colombia’s loss was heartbreaking.
An official count of 52,650 spectators made their presence felt as the Indian Colts walked out for one final time at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. A rousing welcome was witnessed as the Indian team prepared for their tournament’s final encounter. Yes, it was the final as the Colts went down to Ghana in their third group match. It was always going to be tough against the mighty African side and that showed in the final score. 4-0.
With the defeat, India’s journey to their first ever FIFA tournament came to an end.
India, with a scintillating but humiliating performance, must have definitely learnt of what they should do to be capable of beating international giants such as Ghana and Colombia. The drubbing was well at 2-0 just before the Ghana team accelerated. The acceleration proved costly for the hosts as in no time the score line read 4-0.
Early Exit For India; New Opportunities Expected Soon
The hosts started strongly, created decent chances, though they could not convert any. The Indian lads maintained a strong defense that was only broken with few minutes of the first half remaining.
The second half narrated a different story altogether. Ghana captain Eric Aiyah stepped up and showed class completing his brace. Richard Danso, who came as a substitution for the skipper rubbed salt on the wound. His brace helped the visitors score, making it 3-0.
Emmanuel Toku completed the proceedings with hitting the rebound after a Ghana shot hit the post, using a fast-paced attack strategy. Danso’s and Toku’s goals saw a difference of a minute between them. The first goal of the night also came off from the skipper. Ghana with this win entered the Round of 16 handsomely.
Despite the early exit from FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the Indian Colts received a lot of appreciation from all the corners. Their fight throughout the three matches won the hearts of many. This is definitely the end of a new beginning but is sure to open doors for many opportunities in the future. International Sports are on the rise!