Football: India pull-off miraculous win over Argentina
India's U-20 team stun Argentina 2-1 in Spain while U-16 side beat Asia champs Iraq in Jordan
India notched up memorable football triumphs when the country's U-20 team stunned traditional giants Argentina 2-1 in COTIF Cup in Spain and the U-16 team registered a historic 1-0 win over current Asian U-16 champions Iraq at the West Asian Football Federation Championship in Jordan on Sunday.
Deepak Tangri (4th minute) and Anwar Ali (68') were the stars for the Indian U-20 team as the Floyd Pinto-coached side scripted a historic result against the six-time U-20 World Champions, coached by 2006 World Cupper Lionel Scaloni and former midfield star Pablo Aimar.
"This victory will definitely earn Indian Football more respect in the world of football. It opens up a window of opportunity to test ourselves against the best in the World on a regular basis," Pinto said after the match.
"It's unbelievable! I am a proud Indian today. This win is a testament to the efforts and belief of the All India Football Federation in moving forward towards developing the youth of the country. We have a renewed belief that with the right support and exposure we are capable to compete with the best teams in the world," he added.
Action from the India v Iraq U-16 match in Amman, Jordan
"The one thing missing from our continued development through this tournament were goals. I am happy the boys adapted so quickly and effectively to the changes we made post our first gamer. I just couldn't have asked for a better reaction," the India coach said.
"The bench was understandably ecstatic yet calm as there was a lot of football yet to be played. Deepak Tangri's goal was one of a sheer determination while Anwar Ali's free-kick was of the highest order. "We wanted to put in a performance that would make people forget about our previous game against Venezuela U-20 and the boys managed to do that."
Last-gasp win for U-16 boys
Meanwhile, the Indian U-16 team stunned Iraq courtesy a last-gasp goal by Bhuvenesh, to bring its campaign back on track. India produced a dominating performance before Bhuvenesh headed in the match-winner in the dying minutes. The win comes as a morale-booster for the side that lost 1-2 to Japan in its previous match. This is the first-ever victory for any Indian football team against Iraq in any format and among all age groups.
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