New Delhi: The junior Indian football team is set to embark on their journey in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-17 Asian Cup, starting with a crucial match against Vietnam on Saturday. This highly anticipated tournament, featuring 16 countries, will be hosted by Thailand from June 15 to July 2. The inaugural match of the event will be between Yemen and Malaysia.
India’s U-17 team, led by the talented attacking midfielder Korou Singh Thigujam, aims to make a mark in this prestigious competition. Thigujam has been bestowed with the responsibility of captaining the squad during the tournament. The team’s first major challenge will be against Uzbekistan on June 20, followed by a highly anticipated clash against the reigning champions, Japan, on June 23.
Under the guidance of head coach Bibiano Fernandes, the Indian team has undergone rigorous training and preparation, honing their skills and tactics for the tournament. The match against Japan will undoubtedly be their biggest test, as they face off against the formidable defending champions.
The AFC U-17 Asian Cup is a significant event in Indian football, with the country having qualified for the tournament on nine occasions. India’s best performances in the tournament came in 2002 and 2018 when they reached the quarterfinals, showcasing their potential on the international stage.
The group stage fixtures for the Indian U-17 team are as follows:
· June 17: India vs. Vietnam – 5:30 PM
· June 20: Uzbekistan vs. India – 5:30 PM
· June 23: India vs. Japan – 5:30 PM