India edge Bangladesh to qualify for SAFF U-17 semis


India booked their spot in the summit clash after picking up a 2-1 victory over Bangladesh in the SAFF U-17 championship semifinal, here at the Racecourse International Stadium on Monday.

Striker Thanglalsoun Gangte netted a second-half brace, to win the match for India, while for Bangladesh MirajuL Islam pulled one back from the spot.

Both teams looked to size each other up throughout the first half while creating several chances, which went to waste in the end. The only real chance of the half fell India’s way, but the Blue Colts failed to make it count. In the 16th minute, Korou Singh sent in a cross from the right for Gangte who managed to shoulder his marker in the box. But even with rival goalkeeper Sohanur Rahaman caught in between, failed to direct his header into the net.

As the clock wound down, both the sides headed to the dressing with the scorers yet to be troubled. However, India came out after the change of ends with all the impetus, and soon took the lead.

The Blue Colts surged into the lead five minutes after the resumption, as striker Thanglalsoun Gangte, who was lurking around the opposition box, received it just outside the area, and even as the jungle of legs tried to close him down, the striker delectably finished it to the right of the goalkeeper in a flash – a dream finish for any striker.

The lead was doubled some seven minutes later off a brilliant counter-attack. The Indian defenders thwarted a rival attack inside the box, and the counter-attack down the right caught Bangladesh unaware. Eventually, Vanlalpeka Guite sent it into the box and Gangte made no mistake to tap it in.