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  India qualify for AFC U-16 Championship Finals
BHUBANESWAR,22 Sep 2019 (Team Orisports)

India qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship Finals 2020 by finishing Group-B toppers with seven points from three matches in the AFC U-16 Qualifiers, held in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) from 18 to 22 September, 2019. The Championship Finals will be held next year in Bahrain.

India remained unbeaten in the Qualifiers, winning two matches and drawing one. The 23-member Indian team, featuring Odisha players Ranjan Soren and Aula Siba Prasad, beat both Turkmenistan and Bahrain by identical 5-0 margins and drew with hosts Uzbekistan 1-1.


Uzbekistan also finished with seven points from three games. But India qualified as group winners by virtue of better goal difference (+10) in comparison to +3 by Uzbekistan. India had earlier beaten Turkmenistan U-16, and Bahrain U-16 by.

For India this is third consecutive entry to the AFC U-16 Championship Finals, and 9th overall. Since 2011, this is Indias 4th entry to the AFC U-16 Championships, the previous ones being in 2011, 2015, and in 2017.

Only last year, the India U-16 boys suffered a heart-breaking loss to Korea Republic in the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championships Finals, where they were a match away from a direct qualification to the next FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Indian boys are now on an 14-match winning streak, that extends from their tour of Thailand, to the SAFF Championship, and down to the two friendlies they played in Turkey. India U-16 National Team coach Bibiano Fernandes had also guided the previous batch of India U-16 Boys to the AFC U-16 Championship quarterfinals (India’s joint-best finish in the tournament).

Aman Kumar Saini, Mohit Singh Dhami, Ayush Deshwal.
Defenders: Paogoumang Singson, Shameek Caine Vas, Ranjan Soren, Amandeep, Pritam Meetei Sorokhaibam, Anish Mazumder, Halen Nongtdu.
Mid-fielders: Satvik Sharma, Sibajit Singh Leimapokam, Maheson Singh Tongbam, Renedy Meitei Yumnam, Aula Siba Prasad, Taison Singh Loitongbam, Ratanbi Singh Chaphamayum, Yoihenba Meitei Sukham, Amosa Lalnundanga.
Forwards: Himanshu Jangra, Sridarth Nongmeikapam, Shubho Paul, Isac Zomuanpuia.

September 18: India (Shubho Paul 23`, Sridarth 40`, 90+1`, Taison Singh 55`, Himanshu Jangra 90`) beat Turkmenistan 5-0.
September 20: India (Sridarth 4`, 27`, Mohamed Jafar (OG) 25`, Shubho Paul 45+1`, 73`) beat Bahrain 5-0.
September 22: India (Sridarth 68’) drew with Uzbekistan (Rian Islamov 81’) 1-1.
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TOP: Members of Indian team pose after emerging group winners of the AFC U-16 Qualifiers in Tashkent on 22 September, 2019.
RIGHT: Members of Indian team pose on their arrival in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 14 September, 2019.


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