So Close Yet So Far: Despite Heroic Display, India Miss Out On Qualification For U-17 World Cup By A Whisker

Swarajya StaffTuesday, October 2, 2018 8:27 am IST
The Indian team before match against South Korea (@IndianFootball/Twitter)
The Indian team before match against South Korea (@IndianFootball/Twitter)

After an action-packed hour and a half of entertaining football, the Indian U16 team succumbed to a 1-0 loss to the mighty South Korea, who are arguably the best team in the tournament.

The Indian team had progressed to the quarterfinals after a long wait of 16 years and and had been resistant to the onslaught of the South Korean players partly due to the exceptional saves made by goalkeeper Niraj Kumar who kept his side in the tie till the end and the extensive work done by coach Bibiano Fernandes during practice sessions in India.

A win would have sealed the teams dream of qualifying for the U17 World Cup but the team has taken huge steps forward in terms of helping the popularity of the sport in the country. People were impressed by style of football played by the team in the tournament and their hard work during practice sessions which is a good sign for the future of Indian football and was appreciated by stalwarts like Sunil Chhetri.

Despite the loss, the coach Bibiano Fernandes was in an upbeat mood and said that he was proud of his team which made the nation proud with their incredible defensive display throughout the tournament.

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