India's under-20 team stunned traditional giants Argentina 2-1 despite being reduced to 10 men in a mouth-watering contest at the COTIF Cup in Spain. Deepak Tangri (4th minute) and Anwar Ali (68') were the stars for the Indian U-20 team as India scripted a historic result against the six-time U-20 world champions. India, who are being coached by Floyd Pinto, lost their opening match of the tournament 0-2 to Murcia before going down 0-3 to Mauritania. They were held to a goalless draw by Venezuela in their previous match in the tournament.
"This victory will definitely earn Indian Football more respect in the world of football. It opens up a window of opportunity to test ourselves against the best in the World on a regular basis," Pinto said after the match. "It's unbelievable! I am a very proud Indian today. This win is a testament to the efforts and belief of the All India Football Federation in moving forward towards developing the youth of the country. "We have a renewed belief that with the right support & exposure we are capable to compete with the best teams in the world," he added.
Tangri gave India a perfect start as he headed the ball at the back of the net from a corner taken by Ninthoiganba Meetei in the fourth minute. Boosted by the early goal, India stepped up the attack and tried to create chances in the first half.
Suresh Singh Wangjam and Boris Singh Thangjam tried to feed Aniket Jadhav with the ball but on two occasions he was adjudged off-side as after the first half, India lead 1-0.
In the second half, Ali squandered an opportunity after he received a pass from captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam but his shot was saved by the Argentine goalkeeper. India U-20 side was soon reduced to 10 men after forward Jadhav was shown the red card in the 54th minute for a bad foul.
With Argentina trying to make inroads, India goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill pulled off a couple of brilliant saves in the 56th minute and another with his fingertips in the 61st minute.
India continued to look for another goal and a brilliantly struck free-kick taken by Anwar Ali in the 68th gave the Asian side a 2-0 lead.
WAFF U-16 Championship: India U-16 team stuns Iraq
The India U-16 football team registered a historic 1-0 victory over current Asian U-16 Champions Iraq in the WAFF U-16 Championship in Amman and head Coach Bibiano Fernandes dedicated this "to all the fellow Indian Coaches."
In a match which India stayed the dominant side, Buevenesh headed in the match-winner in added time, providing the perfect finish to a sublime build-up.
This is the first-ever victory for any Indian football team against Iraq in any format and among all age-groups.
(With PTI inputs)