22:10 pm: That’s it for us from a historic night in Delhi, despite the result for India. Arka Bhattacharya’s match report is here. At the end of the day, as a famous man once said, the boys played well. On that note, it’s good night from us here at The Field. Stay tuned for more analysis, reaction and what not.

Full-time: In the end, the scoreline perhaps doesn’t do justice to the fight the Indian kids showed and that’s a compliment for them. They held for the first 30 minutes before conceding a soft penalty and then it was an early second half goal that sealed it for USA. Komal Thattal was the man who impressed going forward and just when India could have made it 2-1, US counter and made it 3-0. Dheeraj, the goalkeeper, was perhaps the best player for India and the scoreline sure is harsh on him.

Some post-match reaction after a 3-0 defeat for India:

Full time, India 0-3 USA: Goals from Josh Sargent, Chris Durkin and Andrew Carleton were enough to see a brave Indian side.

84th minute, USA 3-0: SO CRUEL! India were piling on the pressure on USA goal, the ball breaks to Anwar Ali in the box on the right, and he has a clear shot at goal – hits the crossbar! US break from the rebound and score at the other end. Acosta freed Carleton upfront who rounds Dheeraj and scores his team’s third

After 81 minutes India 0 - 2 USA: USA are just playing this out now. Keeping possession at the back, moving the ball across the pitch. India are unable to press high, late in the game.

For those wondering about the kid who has come on and impressed right away, here’s his story:

After 72 minutes, India 0 - 2 USA: Free kick comes to nothing for India but Nongdamba makes immediate impact. Runs rings around the US left-back, bullying him but again, the end product is a tad off. A cut back is cleared. For those unfamiliar with Nong, pacy, powerful, highly rated attacker

After 67 minutes, India 0 - 2 USA: Komal’s persistent running earns India another corner. The delivery is good too by Komal. Anwar almost gets his head onto the end of that. The crowd is excited, albeit temporarily. Substitution for USA. Akinola is taken off for Acosta. And an impending double sub for India. Norem and Rahim Ali set to make their way to the field.

After 63 minutes, India 0 - 2 USA: Sargent puts Akinola through on goal in the right flank. Dheeraj doesn’t charge, doesn’t budge. Eventually, the US number 7 puts it over to everyone’s relief in the crowd. The Indian team inviting trouble, but US being too flashy. End-to-end now.

After 56 mins, India 0-2 USA: Komal Thatal almost etches his name into Indian football folklore but his chip just goes above the US goal. The crowd know it too, they go, “Oooooo!” India’s best chance of the match so far. The US goalkeeper was well off his line but Komal couldn’t keep it down.

52nd minute - Goal USA: Dheeraj smacks the field in disgust as Durkin scores from a corner. The goal is cruel on Dheeraj. As a corner is swung in, Chris Durkin takes a shot which takes a wicked deflection off Anwar Ali, before fizzing past the Indian no 1.

Second half underway: India’s goal under pressure already. Dheeraj with an excellent save down low from Andrew Carleton in the 47th minute, India go on the attack at the other end but it’s snuffed out in the right flank.

Half-time: India will not be too displeased with a 1-0 deficit, and might be hoping to keep it that way till the fag end of the match, when the USA players could potentially tire.

In the meantime, some reaction from the first half:

Half-time in New Delhi: Crowd applauds the Indians as they come off the field. It has been a case of attack vs defence as the US piled on the pressure in the opening 20 minutes. Margin could have been larger but Dheeraj has marshalled his defence well. The penalty against Jitendra came in the 30th minute. India grew into the game towards the end of the half with Komal Thatal becoming a bit more influential.

A last word for the crowd, they have been magnificent.

After 45 mins, India 0-1 USA: Ninthoi almost in, after playing a one-two with Abhijit. USA then just play the half out.

After 42 mins, India 0 - 1 USA: Much better play from India here. Crowd are suddenly alive, and so is Komal Thatal. The blond Sikkimese looks like India’s best bet for a breakthrough and both Suresh and Amarjit realise that as they try to feed him. India also have a shot on target finally, praise be to the lord! Aniket Jadhav has India’s first-ever shot on target at a World Cup. That’s a statistic for you! US goalie Garces saves it though.

After 38 mins India 0 - 1 USA: India trying to get an equaliser quickly, but their ball distribution has been a problem so far. Ninthoi with a quick turn and run but the final ball is lacking once again. More freedom for India now but they’re still a goal down. Bulk of India’s forward play coming from the right, de Matos would want Komal more involved at the left – and he does that on cue. Good ball control down the flank, but end product lacking.

India might be trailing, but it looks like the crowd are still in it:

30th minute - USA lead 1-0: After absorbing all the initial pressure, India concede a spot kick, The referee points to the spot, as Sargent is brought down by Jitendra Singh. Looks a little soft though, felt like it was accidental coming together more than anything. Sargent converts it with aplomb, sending Dheeraj the wrong way.

After 25 mins India 0 - 0 USA: India have a corner! Good work by Aniket Jadhav down the right wing, as it hits the US left back and goes past the byline. Wangjam’s corner doesn’t come to anything.

Update from Arka at JLN in New Delhi: The crowd is going ballistic with a Mexican wave. My eardrums haven’t taken this much punishment in a long time, which is a good thing.

After 20 mins India 0 - 0 USA: Despite the US domination, India have hung on. A rare moment of attack but Aniket can’t keep it in play in the 18th minute. Rahul with a last-ditch tackle to deny Tim Weah who was bearing down on goal.

After 15 mins India 0 - 0 USA: More pressure from the USA but India have absorbed it well so far. Jaylin Lindsey with a shot in the 15th min, Dheeraj is under bombardment, but he keeps it out. India searching for an outlet. A couple of free kicks in the middle of the park to get some breathing space for India.

After 5 mins, India 0 - 0 USA: USA with all the early pressure after India won the first free kick of the night. GK Dheeraj already the most busy player. 4th minute sees panic in the Indian penalty box. Dheeraj with a fine save. The crowd finds its voice again as Komal counter-attacks but the ball goes out of bounds.

08:00 pm: India with 3 defenders on paper. They have plenty of width in this line-up with Ninthoi, Thatal and Rahul KP starting but one suspects that de Matos has opted for a 5-4-1 against the might of US. Aniket will be the sole striker forIndia

We’re seconds away from kick-off!

07:51 pm: The teams are out in the middle. The captains introduce their players to PM Modi.

Loud chants of INDIA INDIA! Deafening, says Arka Bhattacharya from JLN Stadium

07:50 pm: On that note, have you played our Indian football quiz yet? Take a shot here:

07:30 pm: The pre-match ceremony is underway, as PM Narendra Modi and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore are felicitating the legends of Indian football. PK Banerjee, IM Vijayan, Bhaskar Ganguly, Oinam BemBem Devi and of course, Bhaichung Bhutia and Sunil Chhetri.

Preview: Exposure tours, burnouts, regime changes. Arka Bhattacharya relives India’s winding road to the Under-17 World Cup. Read here:

India’s line-up today, the first XI players to play for the nation in a World Cup:

GK: Dheeraj
Defenders: Sanjeev, Anwar, Jitendra, Rahul
Midfielders: Ninthoi, Amarjit (C), Suresh, Abhijit Sarkar, Komal

Forward: Aniket

07:10 pm: The lineups are in, folks!

Frame this! The First XI Indian Players at a FIFA World Cup
Frame this! The First XI Indian Players at a FIFA World Cup

07: 00 pm: It’s all over here at the JLN in the first match. Ghana beat Colombia 1-0 in the tournament opener.The two-time World champions from Africa always looked in control and won it courtesy of a first half strike from their no 10 Emmanuel Toku. Colombia looked completely drained by the end of it and Ghana now have three points on the board while Colombia will look to pick up their first points against India on the 9th.

In Navi Mumbai, New Zealand pull of a creditable 1-1 draw against Turkey.

6:55 pm: As we wait for the match to start, here’s a reminder for fans not to expect results from the Indian Under-17 squad and just back them to enjoy the greatest moments in their lives.

They should not shoulder the burden for generations of missing footballers, for millions of training sessions which should have been held but have not, for a system slowly stirring back to life after being in a comatose state for so long, for creaky infrastructure with dilapidated benches and muddy grounds, or even for men who may or may not have been on the cusp of playing in the World Cup six decades ago.

They must not be held accountable, nor should they be made scapegoats. In football, as in life, there is no magic wand nor a genie to be summoned from a lamp. Over the next week, this must be kept in mind while observing the Indian games.

The only people they owe it to are themselves – to go out there and play the game of their lives, and to enjoy it while they do. India coach Luis Norton de Matos said it best himself: “They are not obliged to win, they are obliged to play to win.”

Read the entire piece here:

6:50 pm: Our correspondent Arka Bhattacharya with the updates from JLN Stadium:

Colombia are wilting under the humidity in their match against Ghana [trailing 1-0]. The weather could be India’s 13th man, 12th man obviously being the hundreds of fans that are supposed to come in here tonight. 24,000-plus are already in the JLN Stadium for Colombia-Ghana as the crowd keeps swelling and building up as we approach the start of the India-US game .

6:45 pm: Hello and welcome to a historic day in Indian football. Irrespective of what happends on the football field at JLN Stadium in New Delhi, October 6, 2017 will go down in India’s history as a significant date – when the nation plays in a World Cup match for the first time. Hosts India take on regulars USA in what promises to be a tasty debut for India at the global stage.

This is Vinayakk Mohanarangan and I am joined by our football correspondent Arka Bhattacharya in New Delhi, at the stadium. Stay with us for the next 3 hours and change, as we bring to you live updates from India’s Group B encounter against the States.