In a remarkable display of skill and prowess, the Indian U-19 national football team emerged victorious in the SAFF Men’s U-19 Championship by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan with a resounding scoreline of 3-0. The championship, held in Kathmandu, witnessed a stellar performance from the Indian squad, showcasing their dominance in regional youth football.
India’s Triumph and Goal Scorers: India’s victory was characterized by a commanding offensive performance, with goals coming from Manglenthang Kipgen (64′, 85′) and Gwgwmsar Goyary (90+5′). Kipgen, who had previously secured a nerve-wracking penalty strike against hosts Nepal in the semi-final, continued to shine as he scored the first two goals of the match, firmly closing the door on Pakistan’s aspirations. Kipgen’s influential presence was felt from the moment he entered the field as a substitute at the beginning of the second half.
Kipgen’s Impactful Role: Manglenthang Kipgen’s pivotal contribution extended beyond goal-scoring, as his clever chip led to Goyary’s goal during injury time, sealing India’s victory. Kipgen’s ability to make a difference in crucial moments underscored his importance to the team’s success.
Historical Significance: India’s triumph in the SAFF Men’s U-19 Championship holds historical significance as it marked the eighth youth title for the nation in the SAFF championships. This achievement solidifies India’s regional supremacy in youth football, showcasing their continued dominance on the field.
First International Tournament for Many: One of the remarkable aspects of this achievement is that a significant portion of the Indian squad made their international tournament debut while representing their nation in the SAFF U-19 Championship. This underscores the potential and talent within the emerging generation of Indian footballers.