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India Emerge SAFF U-16 Champions, Make Short Work Of Bangladesh In Final

India’s U-16 team became winners of the SAFF U-16 Championship by beating Bangladesh 2-0 in the title clash in Thimphu on Sunday. Bharat Lairenjam (8th minute) found the net in the first half, while Levis Zangminlun (74th) sealed the victory with a second-half goal at the Changlimithang Stadium. Guided by head coach Ishfaq Ahmed, the Blue Colts had a sparkling run throughout the championship. They exhibited a brand of free-flowing, attacking football that left opponents struggling. They finished top of Group A after edging out Bangladesh and Nepal with 1-0 victories in both instances. Their semi-final clash with the Maldives was a masterclass in offence, resulting in an 8-0 triumph.

Remarkably, the team accomplished all of this without conceding a single goal throughout the tournament.

In the final against Bangladesh, India displayed tactical prowess and control. With adept ball distribution and intelligent utilisation of available space, they effectively countered Bangladesh’s more physical style of play.

Key contributors like Mohammad Arbash, Vishal Yadav, and Levis Zangminlun penetrated the Bangladeshi defence with fluid runs and skillful dribbling, making it easier for India to dictate terms from start to finish.

At the heart of India’s defence was the indomitable Karish Soram. Always alert, he fearlessly placed his body in the line of fire whenever the situation demanded. And when Bangladesh found a way past him, India goalkeeper Aheibam Suraj Singh stood like a rock.

India’s initial breakthrough came early, just eight minutes into the match. Levis Zangminlun provided an incisive through ball to forward Bharat Lairenjam, who swiftly invaded the space ahead and slotted the ball between the legs of Bangladesh goalkeeper Mohammad Nahidul Islam to score.

Bangladesh responded to India’s goal and got a chance to equalise but Mohammed Mursed Ali fluffed his lines.

India started the second half with the same intensity. Their relentless search for another goal bore fruit in the 74th minute with a sublime strike.

Samson Ahongshangbam initiated a promising move down the left wing before expertly switching play to send the ball to Levis Zangminlun on the opposite flank.

Engaging in a swift one-two pass with Vishal Yadav, Zangminlun outmanoeuvred his defender to find himself in open space. Taking a moment to set himself, he then unleashed a devastating left-footed strike that sailed into the back of the net, doubling India’s advantage.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

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