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Rediff.com  » Sports » AFC Qualifiers: India U-19 down Turkmenistan in opener

AFC Qualifiers: India U-19 down Turkmenistan in opener

November 01, 2011 08:30 IST

In a clinical display by the Indian football team, the colts got off to a winning start in the AFC U-19 Qualifiers, beating 10-man Turkmenistan 3-1 at the Takhti Stadium in Tehran, Iran on Monday.

Brandon Fernandes put India ahead when he converted a penalty in the 39th minute only for Myradov to equalise in the 56th minute.

Captain Malswamfela doubled India's lead in the 60th minute before Prabir Das completed the rout in the 82nd minute.

Turkmenistan tried to dominate early, attacking down the left with captain Durdiyev Didar and Muhadov Suleyman keen on making a mark. But a stubborn Pritam Kotal stood firm, thwarting and intercepting any attempts by the rivals to score.

As the game progressed, the Indians got into a rhythm. Brandon and Sehnaj Singh took control and with Holicharan Narzary and Malswamfela interchanging, the Turkmenistan defence was stretched to the core.

The first goal came in the 39th minute, when the nimble-footed Brandon, went past defender Gurt Podarov with a sudden burst of speed on the right side.

Caught on the wrong foot, Podarov, had little option but to bring Brandon down inside the box only to be given the marching orders. Brandon gleefully converted from the spot to put India in the lead.

Changing over, quite against the run of play, Myradov pulled it back for Turkmenistan in the 56th minute. But it didn't last long as four minutes later, Fela side-stepped two defenders before blasting it in.

Keen to seal the fate early, Coach Colm Toal introduced a double substitution -- Johnychand Singh coming in place of Brandon Fernandes and Prabir Das replacing Pronay Halder -- and the fresh legs logged the final nail in the coffin.

In the 82nd minute, Prabir stayed alert to tap in India's third goal after Holicharan Narzary dribbled past a couple of defenders down the left flank.

India next play Iran on Wednesday.

In another match, Uzbekistan defeated Pakistan 3-0.

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