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Football: India go down 1-3 to Qatar in U-17s friendly

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) The India U-17 men’s national team suffered a 1-3 loss at the hands of their Qatar counterparts in the first of two friendly matches at the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday.

It was an even contest for the first hour of the match, with Ethan Dephina putting Qatar into an early lead, and Shashwat Panwar pulling one back for India. However, Qatar took the lead again in the second half through Khalid Alshaaibi, before Mohammed Elsiddig scored in the dying minutes.

Qatar started off on the front foot and immediately got the lead in the 5th minute, when ¬†Dekhayel Al-Hamad’s cross was saved by India keeper Sahil, but Dephina got on the rebound and scored.

India got a series of set-pieces around the quarter hour mark, with Mukul and Vanlalpeka Guite getting the best chances, but both sent their efforts wide.

It was on the half-hour mark that the Blue Colts found the back of the net through Shashwat, who nodded in a corner by Danny Meetei to draw India level.

As the two sides headed into the break on level terms, the second half began on a more cautious note from both ends. Vanlalpeka Guite had an effort collected by the opposition keeper, before Sahil made a couple of saves to keep India in the game.

However, Khalid Alshaaibi put his side into the lead on the 61st when he got his head onto the end of a cross by Tashin Jamshid.

While India surged ahead, looking for the equaliser, Qatar snuck one in at the end to ensure victory in the match. Mohammed Elsiddig had his shot blocked a couple of times, but managed to get onto the rebound, before finally turning it in.

–IANS

cs/ak

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