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Rediff.com  » Sports » India crash out of AFC U-16 championship

India crash out of AFC U-16 championship

October 06, 2008 23:08 IST

India crashed out of the AFC Under-16 Championship after going down 0-3 to Syria in a Group B league match in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Monday.

A goal from Asaad Al Khadr and two own goals from Deepak Devrani and Ashish Chhetri dashed India's hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals.

India, who lost 2-5 to South Korea in the first group league game, needed a win to keep their hopes alive, but were done in when Asaad opened the scoring for the Syrians in the 43rd minute.

Desperate for an equaliser, Colin Toal's side suffered a shock when Devrani, while trying to clear the ball, put it into his own net in the 65th minute.

Any hopes India had of returning to the game were dashed when substitute Chhetri found his own goal in the 72nd minute.

The only time India came close to scoring was in the 61st minute. Malswamfela did well to dribble past a couple of Syrian defenders but could not beat the goalkeeper.

Mahmoud Al Maowas of Syria was shown the yellow card.

South Korea, who hammered Indonesia 9-0 in the day's earlier match, progressed to the last eight stage from the group along with Syria, who had defeated Indonesia 2-1 in the last encounter.

India face Indonesia in the last group league match on October 8, while South Korea and Syria will clash to decide the group toppers.

Toal, who felt a 0-0 result at half-time would have helped matters, urged that India's performance should not be judged too harshly.

"We should not be critical of this under-16 team. They have represented India in the last 15 months in AFC U-16 qualifiers in Saudi Arabia and exposure trips to Germany, the USA and England and have given a creditable performance and brought glory to the nation.

"Their results in these two games do not represent their true potential as they were pitted against much superior oppositions.

"They have brought credit and glory to the country in 15 months of youth development what other countries have achieved in 15 years. They have fallen short here but have made new strides."

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