India thrash Bhutan at SAFF U-18 football championship


Thimpu (Bhutan): India thrashed hosts Bhutan 3-0 in their second encounter of the ongoing SAFF U-18 Championship 2017 at the Changlimithang Stadium here on Friday.

Lalawmpuia (38th, 79th minutes) and Asish Rai (90+) found the net for the boys in blue.

India now have three points from two matches. They had suffered a 3-4 defeat to Bangladesh in their opening encounter.

Bangladesh are currently leading the table with six points from three matches. Bhutan also have six points but are second due to an inferior goal difference.

India are now third with the same number of points as fourth placed Nepal, but are ahead due to a superior goal difference.

India started off as the better team with Bhutan unable to string together a proper attack in the first 20 minutes of the game.

Princeton shot wide from a free kick while Lalawmpuia and Edmund both saw their shots either going wide or being picked up by the goalkeeper.

Abhisek Halder hit the post in the 19th minute and soon after India earned a penalty. But Lalawmpuia could only hit it over the post as India wasted its opportunity.

A series of corners finally gave the away side the breakthrough as Lalawmpuia capitalised on a goal-mouth melee to give India the lead.

The teams headed 1-0 into half time as Deepak’s point blank header was kept out by the Bhutan goalkeeper.

The second half began on a similar note to the first with India dominating proceedings. Edmund shot wide while Lalawmpuia saw his attempt being saved by the goalkeeper.

The game slowed down considerably after this as both sides committed fouls and errors.

Roshan’s blistering pace changed all that as his solo run on the counter was just about kept out with Edmund hitting the rebound just wide.

But a minute later another solo run, this time from Lalawmpuia saw him striking from 25 yards out to double the lead.

Substitute Ashish Rai scored deep into injury time to complete the rout for India.

India’s next match is against the Maldives on September 25.

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