India may have been beaten 0-3 by USA in their opening encounter of the Fifa U-17 World Cup at Delhi on Friday but the youngsters’ efforts on the field didn’t go unnoticed. Indians gave a fairly good account of themselves against one of the teams expected to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.
Komal Thatal’s mazy runs on the flanks, Suresh Singh Wangjam’s incisive passing, KP Rahul’s brave tackles and Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem’s imposing presence in front of goal earned widespread praise. Despite the scoreline suggesting the hosts succumbing to a heavy defeat, the folks on Twitter saw positives emerge from the contest.
There were even murmurs of USA amassing a cricket score before a ball was kicked. Buoyed by a capacity crowd, India’s defensive organsation for much of the first half made it hard for their opponents to create goalmouth opportunities. For a vast majority of the fans who turned up at the stadium and for the ones who watched it at home, the theme that underpinned the contest was watching an Indian football team in a Fifa tournament.
Rahim Ali’s shot that smashed the crossbar, and the third goal of the contest, which was scored just seconds later perhaps summed up India’s luck, some say.
Here is a list of diverse opinions from the game: