India U17 national team suffered a crushing defeat against a dominant Japanese side in a high-scoring game that resulted in elimination from the U17 AFC Asia Cup. The first half was disastrous for India as they struggled to score a crucial goal that had any impact on the game.
With just one shot on target over 45 minutes, India looked overwhelmed by unrelenting attacking pressure from Japan. The Japanese team took full advantage of India’s defensive weaknesses and hit the net three times before the half-time whistle.
It looked like a tough fight for the Blue Colts and their chances of a comeback were slim. But early in the second half, India emerged from the dressing room with renewed determination and fighting spirit. The desire to get back on the field quickly paid dividends as Mukul Panwar scored a superb free-kick that brought a glimmer of hope to the Indian field.
However, Japan continued to maintain their dominance and added two more goals to their tally. In the 61st minute, Danny Meitei showed his individual talent as he equalized India’s deficit with a goal. The climax of the game came when Indian goalkeeper Sahil saved a penalty which was conceded after a foul by Mukul Panwar.This temporary surge motivated the Indian team.
The game reached a turning point in the 73rd minute when Dany Meitei scored the second before Japan conceded an own goal. India conceded just one goal and a stunning comeback seemed within reach. But Japan showed their excellent quality and quickly regained control of the game and scored three more goals before the final whistle.
In the end, India’s valiant effort failed and Japan won an impressive 8-4. India’s performance in the second half, while showing fighting spirit and the ability to create chances, was not enough to close the gap caused by Japan’s dominance. Despite being eliminated from the tournament, India’s Under-17 team has shown commendable dedication and perseverance.
The experience gained by competing at such a high level will undoubtedly be invaluable for their future projects and we hope they continue to grow.