When the whole of India was sleeping, the country's U20 football team was doing the unthinkable. In the COTIF Cup 2018, the youngsters of the nation historically defeated six-time World Champions Argentina U20 2-1.
It was a fighting display from the Indian team, who had to play most of the second half with 10 men, after Aniket Jadhav was shown a straight red card in the 54th minute. Earlier, India had taken the lead in the fourth minute, but it was the second goal in the 68th minute which won them the game.
Floyd Pinto's side got a free kick 25 yards out on the left side. Anwar Ali stepped up to take the set piece. He produced an unbelievable effort, which cannoned off the right hand post and went in.
Pinto's side had made a dream start, taking the lead in the fourth minute. Deepak Tangri rose the highest from a corner by Ninthoiganba Meetei and gave India an unexpected lead. The defense was also doing their bit, making sure that Argentina could not equalize in the first period.
Right at a time when everything seemed right, India received a major setback. Aniket Jadhav was shown a straight red card in the 54th minute, meaning his side had to play more than half an hour with 10-men.
Argentina used this to their advantage, and bombarded India's penalty box with efforts. But against the run of play, India doubled the lead in the 68th minute. Anwar Ali struck a brilliant free kick, which hit the woodwork and crept inside the goalpost.
Staring at a shocking defeat, Argentina halved the scoreline in the 72nd minute. But India managed to hold on for the rest of the 20 minutes, and scripted a famous win over a much dominant side.
It wasn't just the Indian U20 team who made the nation proud. The India U16 football team continued their impressive run of form by defeating the current AFC U16 champions Iraq 1-0 at the WAFF U-16 Championship in Jordan on Sunday. Not only did they manage to edge the Asian champions at this level, but they dominated the game from start to finish.