India lift U-16 SAFF Football Cup
India braved a heavy downpour to defeat Nepal 1-0 and lift the U-16 SAFF Cup football title at the Dasharath Stadium yesterday.
The winner came in the first half through left-back Jerry Lalrinzuala, whose left-footed long ranger crashed into the net in the 18th minute.
Nepal enjoyed the crowd support but India had the lion’s share of ball possession.
It was the birthday boy Jerry, who latched onto a loose ball just outside the 18-yard box and unleashed a venomous 30-yarder which crashed into the top corner of the net thereby handing India the trophy.
If the first essay was about India’s raids, the second period brought to the fore their rock-solid rearguard.
If skipper Jayananda Singh’s last-ditch tackle in the 84th minute saved a sure-shot goal, goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh had a match to remember making some crucial saves to keep the hosts at bay, especially in the last quarter of the match.