India win SAFF U-15 title

August 27, 2017 – India won the title of the first SAFF U-15 Championship defeating host Nepal 2-1 in the finals played at the ANFA Complex on Sunday.

Vikram Pratap Singh scored the match winner for India after Lalrokima had cancelled out Brijesh Chaudhary's first half lead taken from a penalty.

At the Halchowk Stadium, Bangladesh routed Bhutan 8-0 to secure third position.

Commenting after the match, Nepal coach Sunil Shrestha said they could not hold on to the lead owing to defense lapses after conceding the equalizer.

"India is a tough team to handle. They are physically stronger than us, but my players gave their best. We went ahead in the first half and were able to defend it for quite some time, but India appeared a different team in the second half. They managed to breach our defense and sneak in two goals. I am must say I am happy with my team's performance," he said.

Coach of the winning side, Bibiano Fernandes said the win against the home team was a perfect motivational boost for his team ahead of the AFC U-16 Qualifiers scheduled to be held in Kathmandu later in Septmeber.

" The team kept their cool despite being a goal down and were able to bag the win in front of the home crowd. The win is a good preparation for us for the qualifiers as there will be tougher teams competing," he added.

Nepal went ahead in the 42nd minute through a penalty, but a resolute looking Indian side stood strong against the home team managing an equalizer in the 59th minute through Lalrokima in the 59th minute. Lalrokima had come in as a substitute in the 48th minute replacing Ravi Bahadur Rana.

The match winner for India came from Captain Vikiram Pratap Singh who scored in the 75th minute.

There was more delight for Singh waiting after the final whistle as he was adjudged the Best Player of the Championship. Bangladesh's MD Foysal Ahmed Fahim took honors for highest scorer with 5 goals, while Bangladesh were awarded Fair Play. The team played four matches without a single card.

 In the third place match played at the Halchowk Stadium, Bangladesh rained in goals against Bhutan to claim the third position.

The goal scorers for Bangladesh:

MD RAJA SHEIKH (20’, 46’), MD MIRAJ MOLLA (29’, 58’), MD FOYSAL AHMED FAHIM (18’), MD AKASH (69’) YEASIN ARAFAT (79’), MD ARIF HOSSEN (90’).