The Indian football young guns have made an impact on their tour of Germany, as the nation's U-16 side notched up a 2-1 victory over German soccer boarding school DFI Bad Aibling on Thursday.
Aniket's goal at the death proved the be the winner as the side that is looking to participating in the 2017 U-17 World Cup, registered their first and the much-needed win in their second game.
The first blood of the match went in favour of the visitors as Suresh converted through a precise long throw in the 77th minute of the game, but the lead was gone moments later as the German outfit scored a nice long ranger to make it 1-1. The Indian custodian was just a mere spectator.
Earlier in the first half – which remained goalless – the U-17 side did test the German custodian through a wide array of setpieces, but to no avail. The German goalkeeper was just the better man in the duel.
The start of the second half also saw plenty intent from the Indian colts, but the opposition keeper was still on form.
Shots from Ninthoi (55th minute) and Aniket just could not trouble the German keeper enough, Jitu's effort on the hiur mark rattled the crossbar.
The Indian colts had gone down fighting 3-2 against German opponents Jahn Regensburg in their first exposure match on Sunday, and the experience from the previous game seems to have given them the much-needed boost.
Boris and Amarjit had scored in the previous game for India.
The 24-member squad currently in Germany, will be playing a minimum of 15-16 practice matches including games against the youth teams of Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg, amongst others, in their two-month exposure trip.
"The preparation in Germany before the AFC U-16 Qualifiers will be good for the boys. The AFC Qualifiers will be tough with Iran, Bahrain and Lebanon in our Group," India U-17 World Cup head coach Nicolai Adam had said prior to the tour.
On the selection process of players for the U-17 World Cup in 2017, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das had explained - "What Adam has done is he has taken a mix of the boys who were at the academy before and those he recruited through scouting. The rest of the boys are very much part of the programme as they are practicing in Goa.
"He has two sets of boys – academy A and academy B. The academy A shall participate in the AFC Under-16 tournament and another competition in Spain alongside the exposure trip to Germany. The B team will participate in the SAFF Under-16 tournament expected to be held in August this year," Das said to Goal
"Over the course of next six-to-seven months, Nicolai will monitor the two academies and thereafter, chose a squad of 25 to 30 best players who shall then be part of the final team for the Under-17 World Cup.
"This time will also allow him to see which players best suit his plans and also Adam will also do more scouting and if someone impresses, they still have a chance to make the cut."
The schedule of the other practice games in Germany has still not been announced by the AIFF.