The young colts scripted history as they defeated the current AFC U16 champions Iraq 1-0 at the WAFF U-16 Championship in Jordan on Sunday. They did not only manage to edge the Asian champions at this level, but dominated the game from start to finish
This incredible victory also marks the first-ever win for any Indian football team against Iraq in any format and among all age-groups.16 year-old Bhuvenesh, has carved his name in to the history books of Indian football after heading the match-winner in the dying minutes to script this remarkable milestone.
India produced a dominating performance against a physically superior opponent, with the team displaying excellent fighting spirit and self-belief, which was evident in the way the young lads pushed till the very end and managed to come away with a win.
There has been a marked improvement in the standards of football since the team had struggled against the same opponents last year and were lucky to come away with a draw. Speaking after the team's win India U-16 head coach Bibiano Fernandes said:
“We need to start believing in ourselves. The team thanks the fans and well-wishers of Indian Football who have always stood by us.”
“Whether it’s a final or just a friendly match, when you score a winner in the dying minutes of a match, it’s always special"
Bhuvenesh’s header led to euphoric celebrations as the entire bench rushed onto the field to celebrate this remarkable victory.
“Even though there have been some changes in the Iraqi side team from the side we played at the AFC Qualifiers in Nepal, it’s always difficult to play them because of their physicality,”
Indian football fans had plenty to cheer about on Monday, with not only the U-16 side doing the country proud, but also, the U-20 side creating history in Spain. The youngsters created history at the ongoing COTIF Cup, defeating the much stronger Argentina team. The young colts stunned the six-time World Champions Argentina U20, despite playing with 10 men for most of the second half.
While the result in Jordan holds an inspiring feeling about it, the one from Spain is nothing short of phenomenal. However, with both teams having gone toe-to-toe with one of the strongest teams in world football, and to have come out with a win, projects a positive outlook for the game as a whole in the country.