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It started with two goals in the first 23 minutes and ended with three goals in the last 8 minutes!

The last shot of both the halves was a penalty each – the one in the first half saved by Indian Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh; while the second one off the last shot of the match was slotted home by Indian Captain Suresh Singh. There was drama, euphoria and precision.

India and Saudi Arabia played a 3-3 draw in a Group A League match of the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Sunday (September 18, 2016). Courtesy the result, India are on one point from two matches and next play Iran in their last match on September 21.

Leading 2-1 till the 81st minute, India’s young guns conceded a brace scored by Feras Tariq (82ndand 83rd) as fears of a repeat of the first-day result (2-3 loss to UAE) cropped up. But it wasn’t to be – Suresh slotting in the penalty after the nippy Lalengmawia was brought down.

Earlier for India, Aniket Jadhav had opened the scoring in the 6th minute with Aman Chetri doubling the lead in the 22nd minute.

In the first half, India were superior, faster, nippy and the better of the two sides. Despite playing with a single striker up front, they were able to increase manpower in the rival zone whenever needed – the quick one-twos kept the rivals guessing.

India had their first shy at the rival goal as early as the 3rd minute. The nippy Aniket sidestepped his marker only to see his left-footer hit the latter and bounce back. Sanjeev Stalin did try the rebound from a distance but it went straight to rival Goalkeeper Alasmari Hashem.

However, three minutes later, an ice-cool Aniket found the target. Following a throw-in, the slippery Komal sneaked in and found Aniket with a left-footed pass. Aniket wasn’t in panic, took his time and placed it home to the left of a diving Hashem.

India’s second goal came in the 22nd minute. Boris with a solo run created ripples, so much so that he had three rival defenders bumping into each other. Aman Chetri who finished it off – the move getting the perfect finish it deserved.

Saudi Arabia reduced the margin in the 34th minute much against the run of play – Abdulaziz leaping high to head in a Dhari Alanazi cross from in between the two Central defenders to give them a lifeline.

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