FIFA U-17: Red-letter day for India's Boys in Blue

The Indian Colts lost to Colombia in their FIFA U-17 World Cup match but not before scoring an historic goal.

Jeakson Singh netted India's historic goal against Colombia in the 81st minute. Photo credit: Indian Football Team/Twitter

India put up a respectable fight and scored a landmark goal against Colombia in their second match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Monday despite a 1-2 loss.

In the 81st minute, midfielder Jeakson Singh created history by scoring India's first ever goal in a FIFA tournament after he netted a corner in response to Colombia's lead. That was enough for the nation to celebrate.

Coming into the match, the Colts were desperate to convert their shades of brilliance from their opening encounter with USA on Friday. It was a crunch match for India, hopes were high and the support undeniable.

India put up a fight right from the start with Abhijit Sarkar creating a wonderful opportunity in the 15th minute. He pierced an opening on the right side of the penalty area but his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper.

In response, the South Americans went on the counterattack. Jaminton Campaz's superb header looked dangerous but Dheeraj Singh, who has been exceptional in this tournament, dived to his wrong side and kept it out of the posts.

India's resilient first half effort resulted in another agonizingly close chance when Rahul Kannoly Praveen found space on the left side and took a spectacular shot. But that hit the crossbar, a similar miss India had suffered against USA as well. Their performance on the field, nevertheless, had raised expectations already.

India finished the first half with a clean sheet but showed enough promise. They looked a completely different side from their first encounter just a few days ago.

India didn't have the best of starts to the second half when Colombia's Juan Penaloza broke the deadlock by taking a powerful shot to put the visitors in the lead.

Half an hour later, India did it.

Jeakson's perfect header brought the entire country to a stand-still and the crowd at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium erupted in sheer joy.

The celebrations didn't last long though as Colombia fought back in the form of Juan Penaloza's brace that put the visitors back in the driving seat.

By the final whistle, the scoreline once again didn't do justice to India's heroic efforts on the field but they kept their hopes of making it to the next round alive.

The Colts haven't turned their fortunes yet, but another fighting effort against Colombia has confirmed India's future in football looks bright.

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