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AFC U-16 Championship Live Commentary: India 0-0 Iran

Written by: Punit Tripathi


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The team needs to pick themselves up, and Sailo will kick himself for missing that last-ditch opponents. Indonesia waits next and will play Vietnam later today. 

FULL TIME: India's qualification hangs in balance as they play out a goalless draw against Iran. The lads perform well, and Niraj Kumar saves a penalty. Indonesia waits as another challenge for Bibiano's youngsters. Good performance against the finalists from 2016.

The final flourish should've made it enough.  

90+4' Final moment, Vikram pushes one down the right. Sailo should have scored this, one on one. Just wide. Grazes the side netting. Another shot, Iran saves. Full time. 

90+3' Iran win a freekick in their half. Send it long, but Bikash takes care of it. Throw in to Iran down the left. 

90+2' Iranian attempt, is wide of Niraj's right post. Could've been difficult to stop. 

90+1' Vikram goes for the spectacular, misses it full and frontal. Another ball for him, but is too heavy. 

90' Bekey tries to send one in, but is defended well. Iran win a counter as India bring down. Four minutes time added on. 

89' Vikram fails to control a difficult ball down the right, throw in to Iran. India win a corner as Iran defend another Vikram run. 

88' Seyedi is brought down by Harpreet, who's shifted to the left. Freekick curled in, is out for a goalkick. How did no one in a melee get a touch? 

87' Cross comes in from the right for Iran. Is headed over and behind for an Indian throw. 

85' GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR INDIA! Attacks starts centrally, Vikram sends the ball to the centre, but Ravi fails to touch it under defensive pressure. A faint touch would've meant a goal! 

84' Sailo tries to find Ravi, but the ball is too heavy down the left. Iran get a throw in. The long balls haven't worked for either team. 

83' Iran should have made better of the wings. 

82' India clearing with purpose now. Bibiano is finally playing the points' game. Gurkirat has been stretchered off. 

81' Sailo's long ball sends Vikram on a chase. The Iranian goalkeeper has to come out and collect it. Harpreet is on for Demello and has slotted in the right side. Long attempt, in the goalkeeper's arms from India. 

80' Shot comes in from Iran, outside the box, takes a deflection and is collected with ease by Niraj. 

79' Bavieh is replaced by Sayedi for Iran. India concede another freekick in Iranian half. 

78' India now slowly build in the Iranian half. Vikram will need to lead from the front with a calm mind. 

77' Vikram pulls a defender down with a bad challenge. Apologises. Ravi with a long shot from distance. Is wide. 

76' Bavieh, No. 7, is standing on the ball. SAVED BY NIRAJ! THE SCORES CONTINUE TO BE LEVEL! 

75' Penalty to Iran. Bikash brings down Barzegar, who's been tremendous since coming on. 

74' Sailo, No. 10, is coming on for Givson. Defensive change it seems, but this may push Ricky above. Bibiano will be happy with a point it seems. 

73' Corner to Iran. Deep ball to the second post, is saved by Niraj. 

72' Niraj with another crucial save as Iran attack down the right. Good run from the winger Barzegar. 

71' Cross from the left, head from the right, and the ball is in Niraj's hands. India send it back. and Ravi loses possession. 

70' Goalkick to Iran as Ricky tries to find Vikram, but the ball is over and too high for the No. 6. Iran attack, but are broken down in the midfield. 

69' Vikram needs to shed responsibility, and play more with the team and pass better. He seems to have taken too much on himself. 

68' India break down the Iranian defence with a ball over the top, but Ravi is slowere than the goalkeeper to reach it. Thoiba makes another clearance on the other end. 

67' Bikash nullifies an attack down the right. Goalkick to India. Ravi's header has no Indian recipients. 

66' India defends one after the another, as Iran take three attempts in a matter of minutes. The team needs to push itself forward more. 

63' Gurkirat is down. Tried to head one, collission with Niraj, who caught Gurkirat on the elbow. 

62' Bekey is down after a fall. He was trying to continue an aerial ball. Is stretchered out. Barzegar comes on for Haz for Iran. 

61' Long ball sent in, headed wide. Thoiba sends another one long, but is too heavy for Ravi. Indian attack breaks down with an interception. 

60' Iran build one piece-by-piece. The build up was slow, and started from the right to the left. Cross was well headed by Thoiba, but the attack continues and Bekey concedes a freekick by bringing another Red down. 

59' Niraj sends one long, directly to the Iranian goalkeeper. The response is the same from Iran. Niraj collects the long ball with ease. 

58' Shabas is pulled down outside the Indian box. Freekick to India. 

57' Vikram seems to be trying too much on his own. Givson and Ravi need to help him with more options to pass. 

56' Jafari is replaced by Doustali for Iran. Adds speed to the midfield. Demello finds Vikram down his right. The ensuing cross is wide and over. 

55' Iran build one centrally, but the final shot is too wide to disturb Niraj after a deflection. The Indian midfield must press and yet, make their areas safe. The Iranian corner is headed wide. 

54' India create one centrally, but the ball is too heavy. Iran regain possession due to a heavy touch. Bekey finds Givson, who's pulled down. 

53' Iran try another attack, but Ricky breaks it down. Demello wins a freekick. Givson gives away a freekick with a poor handball. 

52' Vikram plays it to the Iranian goalkeeper to start proceedings. Thoiba comes out for a header, and wins it well. Indian throw in down the right. 

51' Ref calls the Iranian medical team for a player in the centre of the pitch. Game breaks down as Demello's elbow catches Salmani catches him in the back. 

50' A cross down the right for Iran comes in, but is too heavy and the left winger takes a touch too heavy for an Indian goalkick. Niraj Kumar sends it long. 

49' India are showing more enthusiasm going forward, and Bibiano has probably asked them for an early goal. Iran, though, will be harder to break. 

48' Ravi finds Vikram down the right, and Vikram lobs one too heavy for India. Goalkick to Iran. 

46' India are sitting deep at the beginning of the second half. Givson tries to find Ravi, but is defended. 

The players are walking out for the second half! 

HALF-TIME: India and Iran have played out an entertaining and goalless first half. India have come close with Vikram and Demello's attempts, while Iran have been dominating aerially, both in the game and on set-pieces. Both teams have looked to find purpose and have resolutely maintained their shape. 

Another enterprising second 45 is on the cards. Go nowhere! 

45+3' The last minute, and India attac down the right and concede a freekick. Half-time whistle goes out. 

45+2' Over and a goalkick to India. Vikram runs it out of play, and earns another yellow. 

45+1' Another freekick to Iran. Right of the Indian box. 

45' Niraj sends one in the horizon, as Ravi brings an Iranian player down. Thoiba is smiling on being booked, and has a vibrant one. First yellow card for India in the first 45, with three minutes of added time. 

44' Iran play one in the Indian box, but the final pass isn't the best. The curl on the ball sends it for a goalkick. 

43' India need to control possession better in the final third. Every thing else looks sorted for the Blue boys. 

42' Bekey is brought down in the centre of the park as he tries to transition play. Salmani is shown a yellow card. The No. 10 is in the ref's book. 

42' Thoiba with yet another clearance. Day of centre-backs, it seems, for India. Both Thoiba and Bikash have been dominant in their areas. 

41' Iran is now resorting to long balls. Third in a minute, but with no great use. Thoiba and Bikash are upto the task. 

40' Throw, long throw from Bikash. Ravi is tumbled by an Iranian header, but there's no whistle. 

39' India win a throw down the right. Vikram must push his team higher and try to seize the initiative as the Iranians look a little frustated. 

38' Counter from Iran, down the right. Broken down by Demello's hardwork. Freekick to Iran as Bekey brings down another player in the central circle. 

37' Gurkirat throws one, but Iran win another header. That's been the order of the day. The Reds have been dominant in the air. 

36' Superb double tackles from Bikash to break down two attacks on the trot. Bibiano must've taken a good, deep breath. 

35' Demello shoots one after creating space for himself. Fails to connect it too well. Wide and goalkick for Iran. 

34' Vikram presses the goalkeeper, who clears one down the left. Gurkirat throws one back in. Vikram fails to find the run of Demello. 

33' The match resumes with Iran's throw in. Another one for Iran, as the starter is headed out. 

32' Both teams take an energy break, due to the humid conditions in UAE. So far, Iran has been the better side, but India has had its chances. 

31' Curling ball, curling header. Save from Niraj with a full dive! Iran come close again. 

30' Thoiba miscues a pass to Shabas. Throw in to Iran in the Indian half. Thoiba, then, concedes a free kick. Iran will fancy this chance. 

29' Iran continue attacking India in the final third. Ajafari has been on song for the Reds. 

28' Another frustated shot from Iran. Outside the box. Over the top. Goalkick, India. 

27' Ball comes in from the left. Iran play close passes in the final third. India defend deep. Shabas sends one for a throw and breaks the rhythm. 

26' The defence has certainly been India's strength today. Bikash and Thoiba have been really good, except that one corner. 

25' Both teams take a water break, as a player is down. Iran resume with a throw in. 

24' India attacking down the right. Win two throws deep consecutively. Shabas sends a ball in, but is cleared by the goalkeeper. Iran win a freekick after Bekey brings down a player in the centre of the pitch. 

23' Iran have looked better on setpieces. Ravi Rana and Demello need to become more integrated in the attack. The usage of wings should be better. 

22' Lucky for INDIA! Corner comes in, headed with power, hits the post! The next shot is saved by Niraj. Living dangerously. 

21' A shot comes in, but is blocked. Gurkirat heads one wide for a corner, to stop an attack. Iran has build a little pressure. 

20' Thoiba takes a free kick from his half. Tries to find Ravi, but the Iranian centre-backs are up to the task. Long ball from the goalkeeper, collected by Niraj. 

19' Another flying attempt, straight into Niraj's arms. The youngster can collect them all day. 

18' India is pressing high, expectedly. It's an important tactic to stop Iran. 

17' Corner for Iran down the left. Played back. Tries a long ranger, is wide. Vikram creates one down the right, but the goalkeeper collects it. END TO END ACTION! 

16' Good cross from Demello for vikram, but just a touch from a defender helped it away from the Indian No. 6. Good move. On the other hand, Niraj saves a good shot from outside the box. 

15' India has easily matched Iran ball by ball so far. If they can continue similarly, this can be very interesting in the second half. Iran, meanwhile, have dominated a little possession in the midfield. 

14' Shot comes in, but is defended by a crowded defence. Iran's counter is stopped by Ricky. The Reds win a throw in. 

13' Another freekick to India. Too many interruptions to smoothen the flow of the game. India smartly ideate a well-worked out freekick, but is cleared wide for a throw in. 

12' Low free kick, is placed wide. India start from the goalkick. 

11' Cleared well by Niraj, India's counter pass for Vikram was just a little too heavy. Iran, meanwhile, win another free kick down the left. 

10' Bekey is certainly pushing beyond his weight in that midfield, and concedes a free kick on the right touchline for Iran. 

09' Gurkirat breaks down a counter, but Iran regain possession. India have the ball back after an Iranian miscommunication. 

08' Givson tries a low ball, but is cleared for a throw in. Poor, but it sure will get better eventually. Yumnam throws a long one, but is defended well. India win a throw down the left. 

07' Players like Harpreet and Samir must be missing not being a part of the action. India win a free kick right side of the Iranian box, as Ravi is tumbled down. 

06' India has been really patient in the first game, and in this one so far. Maturity beyond years, certainly, and both centre backs have looked comfortable on the ball. 

05' Thoiba plays a long one, but Vikram fails to control it down. The pressing from India is imminent. Niraj collects a cross from the left. The goalkeeper commands his box well. 

04' A long range shot comes in from Iran's No. 10, but fails to test Niraj. Wide off his right post. Iran are making their intentions clear. 

03' Thoiba makes his first defensive contribution. Iran win a throw, but another defence breaks another attack. 

02' Iran have controlled the proceedings, and lose possession as Ravi presses the opposition centre-back. India is playing left to right in white strips. 

01' Iranian No. 11 starts off proceedings from right to left. 

Bibiano Fernandes looks cool as Iran start the game. 

The Indian National anthem fills us all with pride, passion and power. Will it help the young boys to a resounding victory? 

Iran, though, defends with a narrow shape. Will we see the central Asian team open up with a new idea to counter India's 4-3-3, or will Givson Singh and Ricky Shabong be pressed too deep? 

Most of the side picks itself and its positions. It will be interesting to see who starts on the left of the top 3. Will be it Bekey, or will Ravi Rana play the role? 

The starting XIs are here: 

India: Niraj, Thoiba, Shabas, Gurkirat, Bikash, Ravi Rana, Givson Singh, Ricky Shabong, Vikram (C), Bekey Oram, Ridge Demello

Khel Now closely predicts the starting XI, once again! 

Will Demello start this game, or will Ravi Bahadur Rana continue to be India's forward at the first whistle? What is being worked out on the sheets of the Indian management? Will that come to good effect on the pitch? 

The match is being played at a bigger stadium, with over 87,000 seats available. Will the enormity of the situation get to the young boys, or has Bibiano prepared them well for the lights and the glamour? Only time will tell, and we've 19 minutes before we start getting answers. 

According to some reports, Rohit Dhanu will not take part in the AFC U16 Championship, and that comes as a major blow. 

Here's the full story: 

Only new player who born on or after Sept 2002 will be allowed to register their name. 
Rohit danu born in July 2002, thus not make him eligible to this competition's age limit criteria.
Last night he didn't played the match against Vietnam as his name was not mentioned on list by AFC, after getting updates in this, It's confirmed that Rohit Danu is not eligible to play for India U16 now.

India won their AFC U-16 opener against Vietnam 1-0 courtesy a goal from Vikram Pratap Singh, who converted from the spot. Today's opponents, Iran, lost their last encounter against Indonesia 2-0, but did not have a disappointing outing on the pitch. Will the Blue Cubs continue their upsurge, or will there be a reversal of fates?

Also Read- AFC U-16 Championship Rival Watch: Iran

1:30 PM- Hello everyone! It is an amazing day here in Kuala Lumpur and the Indian U-16 National Team is all set to face powerhouse Iran in the second group stage fixture of the ongoing AFC U-16 Championship. The Blue Colts defeated Vietnam in the opening fixture last week and need another win to qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament. The weather is just perfect and spectators are coming in to experience the game. This is your host Punit Tripathi, and I hope you enjoy the game with me.

Match preview- India look to build winning momentum against Iran

Published: Mon Sep 24, 2018 03:57 PM IST


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