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India lose to Kuwait, fail to qualify AFC U-16 C'ship

September 30, 2013 15:53 IST

India failed to qualify for the AFC U-16 championship following their 1-2 loss to Kuwait in the Group A qualifiers in Kuwait City on Sunday.

A win or a draw would have seen the Indian boys through to the final round of the AFC U-16 Championship in Thailand next year but it was not to be.

Indian U-16 football teamIndia and Tajikistan finished on seven points each behind Kuwait (12) but the Central Asian side made it to the final round on the basis of a better goal difference. Tajikistan have a goal difference of 16 as against nine of India. Both sides played out a 1-1 draw in their group match.

The winners of the 10 different groups along with five best runners-up team in the qualifiers join host Thailand for the next year's continental showpiece.

But the Indian boys would leave the tournament with their heads held high after a fine performance against Kuwait at the Al-Sabah stadium.

The Indians were the more dominant side for most part of the match, especially the second half.

India found themselves a goal down in as early as the ninth minute when Khaled Alenezi took advantage of a long ball and scored past Dheeraj Singh in the Indian goal.

The home side doubled their lead through Salem Albariki's penalty in the first-half stoppage time goal, which was awarded after a Dheeraj Singh infringement on Alenezi and India were down 0-2 at the breather.

India pulled one back in the 66th minute after substitute Krishna Pundit slotted the ball past Kuwaiti goalkeeper Omar Mohammed.

Photograph: AIFF

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