Thu, 30 Nov 2023

New Delhi [India], October 1 (ANI): Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur congratulated the men's U19 football team for defending the SAFF U19 title with a triumph against Pakistan 3-0 in the final on Saturday.

Anurag Thakur took his X (formerly Twitter) to praise the scintillating performance of Team India.

"Champions! Huge congratulations to BlueColts on successfully defending their SAFFU19 Title and outclassing Pakistan with 3-0 victory!! Absolutely scintillating performance from Team India to clinch the SAFFChampionship for the 3rd time. Let the celebrations begin!" Anurag Thakur wrote.

After a wait-and-see approach for the first 45 minutes, the Indian team decided to crack the whip in the second session and emerged as the SAFF Men's U19 champions with a vigorous 3-0 triumph over Pakistan at the Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu on Saturday.

It was India's eighth youth title in the SAFF championships, a clear testimony of their regional supremacy.

In a stunning display of talent and composure, substitute Manglenthang Kipgen once again emerged as the hero for the Indians.

Following his nerve-wracking winning penalty strike against hosts Nepal in the semi-final on Wednesday, Kipgen continued to shine on the grand stage as he scored the first two goals to literally slam the doors on Pakistan's ambitions.

He probably had no competitor in sight when he was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.

Kipgen had a role to play in the third goal, too, as his clever chip resulted in Gwgwmsar Goyary scoring the third goal in the add-on time, thus sealing Pakistan's fate in the tie, who were by then reduced to a 10-man team. (ANI)

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