Talking Points: Could Ridge Demello be the next Udanta Singh?
Written by: Abhranil Roy
The Blue Colts secured their third straight clean-sheet in the tournament.
India took on Indonesia in the final group stage game of the AFC U-16 Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Blue Colts had won one and drawn another game of the group coming into this one and so had their opponents. As such, India needed a point to ensure qualification into the quarterfinals of the prestigious competition. The Colts did not disappoint, as they held on to a feisty 0-0 stalemate against the Merah Putih.
Watch: India 0-0 Indonesia highlights
With five points in three games, India made it to the knockout stages of the competition for the first time since 2002. With a win in the next round, the Colts will not only be going into the semi-finals but will also automatically qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be organized next year in Chile.
5. Ridge Demello could be the next Udanta Singh
Indian winger Ridge Demello has been one of the standout performers for the team in the tournament and this game was another demonstration of his unquestionable abilities.
Gifted with incredible pace and an ability to put in dangerous balls into the box, he was the thorn in Indonesia’s side for the better part of the first half. The boy from Santacruz in Mumbai came close to scoring on multiple occasions and all eyes will be on him as some pundits have touted him to become the next Udanta Singh.
4. The Indonesian midfield was class
Indonesian football has come a long way over the last decade or so and that was evident in the way they approached the game. The likes of Andre, David and Bagus repeatedly forayed into the Indian defence like a knife through better, playing clever one-twos and taking up intelligent positions throughout the game.
Thanks to some poor finishing and excellent last-ditch tackling, the score remained tied but Indonesian fans can genuinely look forward to the future, which is likely to see these youngsters excel at the senior level.
3. Givson and Vikram Pratap Singh are excellent prospects
The Indian midfield duo of Givson and captain Vikram Pratap Singh impressed in their roles, with the latter coming close on a number of occasions to handing the Colts the lead.
Vikram has been the heartbeat of the Indian side throughout the tournament and kept on making lung-bursting runs, even in the dying moments of the game. They were ably supported by Becky Oram and as an Indian football fan, one cannot help but be excited by their talent.
2. Supriadi and Sutan Zico could be superstars
The Indonesian forward duo of Supriadi and Sutan Zico were consistently at the heart of every good move that materialized. The former especially, was simply sensational, repeatedly dribbling past multiple Indian players and came close to scoring when he found himself in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Neeraj Kumar in the 29th minute.
Striker Sutan was also impressive with his ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play. On any other day, you would expect each of them to net a few goals, but that did not happen today. However, it would be wise to keep an eye out for them, for they have the ability to be the next breakout superstars in Asian football.
1. India were wasteful with their chances
Both the teams wasted splendid chances, but being an Indian football fan, it was gut-wrenching to see the sitters missed by Ravi Rana. Coach Bibiano Fernandes will have his work cut out, for if the team do not take their chances in the knockout games, they will be punished severely.
Published: Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:53 PM IST