Indians clinch SAFF U-16 title

Defender Jerry Lalrinzuala scored a spectacular goal through a long-ranger as India beat Nepal 1-0 to lift the South Asian Football Federation under-16 championships title here on Tuesday.

India, represented by All India Football Federation’s Regional Academy, surged ahead in the 18th minute with Lalrinzuala unleashing a powerful left-footed 35-yard strike to beat the Nepalese goalie in the final match at the Dasharath Stadium.

The early goal, which stunned the partisan home crowd to silence, turned out to be the match-winner. India returned unbeaten in the biennial tournament.

On a rain-soaked afternoon in Kathmandu, India dominated proceedings from the first whistle, with the boys showing exemplary maturity to play according to the heavy ground conditions.
Birthday boy Lalrinzuala could not have asked for a better gift. The 14-year old Mizoram lad impressed one and all with his darting overlaps down the left flank and was rewarded for his performance in the 18th minute.

Latching on to a loose ball just outside the 18-yard box, Lalrinzuala sent a left-footer which crashed into the top left corner of the Nepal goalpost.

The Indian lads, who led 1-0 at halftime, continued to impress post the breather as the rain kept pouring down.

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