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AFC U-17 Championship

AFC U-17 Asian Cup: Top five talking points from India's defeat to Japan

Published at :June 24, 2023 at 5:54 AM
Modified at :June 26, 2023 at 1:38 AM
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Jayjeet Roygupta


The Blue Colts were beaten 8-4 by the Samurai Blue in a goal-fest.

The AFC U-17 Asian Cup has provided fans with thrilling encounters and unexpected outcomes. In one such gripping match, Japan U-17 secured a spot in the quarterfinals, while India U-17 experienced heartbreak as they crashed out.

The clash between these two teams brought forth several talking points, showcasing the determination and resilience of both sides. Let's delve into five key moments from this enthralling encounter.

5. Japan Take Control Early On:

From the outset, it was clear that Japan meant business. The young Samurai Blue asserted their dominance, with Daiki Miyagawa's early charge setting the tone. Gakuto Kawamuro's clinical finish, assisted by Ryunosuke Yada, handed Japan an early lead, as they dictated the game's tempo. Despite a brief chance for India's Korou Singh, Japan maintained control and showcased their intent to progress further in the tournament.

4. Defensive Failure

India U-17s' defense proved to be a major concern throughout the tournament, and their struggles were evident in their match against Japan. The team had already displayed vulnerability in previous encounters against Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsAg4EuQzRQ

However, conceding a staggering eight goals against Japan was a humiliating blow. The defense failed to make any significant impact, leaving the team exposed and vulnerable. It was a disappointing performance that highlighted the need for improvement in India's defensive capabilities at the youth level. Addressing these defensive issues will be crucial for the team's future success in international competitions.

3. India's Spirited Comeback

Despite India's defensive struggles and the quick goals conceded in the second half, their offensive department displayed commendable resilience and fighting spirit. The team showcased renewed confidence as they wasted no time in making an impact after the restart.

Captain Korou celebrates a goal with Danny Meitei (Credit: AFC)

Vanlalpeka's successful free-kick injected a glimmer of hope into the Indian camp, highlighting their offensive capabilities. Although Japan responded swiftly with goals from Shuto Nagano and Kohei Mochizuki, momentarily dampening India's aspirations, the team's offensive prowess demonstrated their determination to fight till the end. This resilient offensive performance showcased the team's fighting spirit and refusal to give up despite the defensive lapses.

2. Danny Meitei's Heroics:

Danny Meitei emerged as a standout performer for India's U-17 team, showcasing his heroics during the match against Japan. Meitei's clinical finish, assisted by Thanglalsoun Gangte, provided a crucial goal that reignited India's hopes.

Danny Meitei looks a gem in the making (Credit: AFC)

His presence on the field was influential as he continued to trouble Japan's defense, eventually forcing an own goal from Daiki Miyagawa. Meitei's individual brilliance and contributions demonstrated his talent and determination, making him a key player and a beacon of hope for the Indian team during their challenging encounter. The young Indian’s heroics was the only positive out of the game for India.

1. The Group of death provide a harsh awakening

India knew that they were up against three quality opponents when the draw for Group D of the AFC U-17 Asian Cup was read out. They entered the tournament on the back of two fruitful exposure tours to Spain and Germany, taking on the academy sides of Real Madrid U-17s, Atletico Madrid U-17/18s, FC Ausburg U-17s and Stuttgart 17s in training matches. Bibiano Fernandes's men had shown some very promising signs as they hit their stride. They had to fight back from a goal down against Vietnam in their opening AFC U-17 Asian Cup encounter, and manage to snatch a point with a 1-1 draw. The Blue Cubs managed to shut out Uzbekistan U-17s for 82 minutes, before super-sub Mukhammedali Reimov came to Uzbekistan's rescue to seal full points. India showcased the best of their offensive play in the second half against Japan, and the fluidity of the attacks was pleasing to watch. The technical side of India's gameplay has been terrific. While Japan U-17s finishing was quality, India will want to improve their defensive sturdiness.

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