New Delhi: The India U-19 team suffered yet another defeat to hosts Serbia, going down 1-3 in the second match during its exposure tour to Europe to prepare for next year’s U-19 Asian Championship.
Coach Floyd Pinto’s boys had earlier lost 0-2 in first of the two friendly matches.
India started off on the positive foot, putting some early pressure on the Serbians. An early corner by captain Amarjit Singh saw midfielder Jeakson send his header wide.
Despite this early pressure, it was the Serbians who broke the deadlock via a brilliant solo effort from Bojic Bojan, who intercepted the ball in the attacking third, dribbled past three defenders and slotted it past India goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill.
Gill was in action again in the 30th-minute when he carefully smothered a corner but his pass to Jeakson was intercepted by Ognjenovic Marko, who coolly proceeded to slot the ball into the net.
This was followed by a third Serbian goal, following yet another defensive lapse by India.
After a couple of failed attempts, the Indians finally managed to get on the scoresheet via a Rahim Ali strike on the stroke of half-time. Advancing down the right wing, Aman played Abhijit through, in between the Serbian defenders.
Abhijit then crossed it into the box, where Rahim Ali was lurking. The latter grabbed the opportunity and slotted it into the net.
India kept applying pressure on the Serbians in the second half, but the hosts’ defence adeptly soaked it all up.
The introduction of Nongdamba Naorem did a lot of good for the Indians, as he often troubled the Serbian defence in the latter stages of the game.
However, neither side could find the back of the net in the second half, and the match ended with a 1-3 defeat for the Blue Colts.