India were defeated 1-2 by Colombia in their second Group A game of the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup in New Delhi.
Luis Norton de Matos made four changes to the starting line-up that played against the USA in the opening encounter. Namit Deshpande replaced Jitendra Singh in central defense while Boris Thangjam returned from his suspension to line up as the right-back. Komal Thatal was dropped in favor as Rahul Kannoly started on the left flank, while Jeakson Singh paired up with captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam in central midfield. The sturdy Rahim Ali was given the nod ahead of Aniket Yadav upfront as the colts lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
India produced one of their finest performances before going down in front of a disappointed but proud group of spectators, who witnessed a historic first-ever FIFA World Cup goal. India scored when Jeakson, the tallest player in the side, headed in a Sanjeev Stalin corner, sending the whole stadium into a state of delirium.
The players were still celebrating Jeakson’s equalizer when Colombia dashed forward straight from the restart. Juan Penaloza took advantage of central defender Anwar Ali being out of position, calmly controlled a through ball and slotted it past Dheeraj.
At the end, it was another valiant display by the Indians, who had the best chances in the first half and pulled one back after the break but had to return empty-handed once again.
Coach Luis Norton de Matos offered a simple explanation for the rare brain freeze his team suffered. “Their dream just came true and they did not know how to control emotions immediately after that.”
Colombia, on the other hand, bagged their first three points and will be facing the USA next as they try to book a place in the knock-outs.
Final Scores – Colombia 2 – 1 India
Colombia 2 (Juan Penaloza 49, 82) bt India 1 (Jeakson Thounaojam)