West Bengal: Indian under-15 team defeated Nepal 7-0 in the final of the SAFF under-15 football championship at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal on Saturday.
Striker Sridarth Nongmeikapam scored a hat-trick as India trashed Nepal to clinch the Championship.
High on confidence after winning all their group-league matches, India pressed forward right from the start and utilised both the flanks to spread the game. The team’s positive intent paid off in the 15th minute.
India led by only one goal while Amandeep and Sibajit Singh shot home close to the break to help India take a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Nongmeikapam stole the limelight in the second half. He pounced on a chance inside the box to score his first in the 51st minute. After Himanshu Jangra’s 65th minute goal, Nongmeikapam took a through ball to dodge the Nepal goalkeeper and score his second. He completed his hat-trick from a low cross in the 80th minute. Jangra bagged the highest-scorer award with seven goals.
India remained unbeaten and scored 28 goals without conceding any in five matches. India’s third title victory made it the most successful side in the history of the event. It had claimed the crown in 2013 and 2017 in Nepal.
India will participate in the AFC under-16 championships 2020 qualifiers, scheduled from September 18 to 22.