AFC U-16: Hosts India strike late to keep hopes alive

Suresh Wangjam was the hero for India, netting a stoppage-time penalty to earn a 3-3 draw for the hosts and keep alive their hopes of making the knockout stage.

Saudi Arabia 3-3 India

Aniket Jahav struck an early goal for the hosts in a pulsating game and Aman Chetri looked to have made things comfortable when he doubled India’s lead on 23 minutes.

But the Saudis pulled one back 11 minutes before the break and should have been on terms at the break, only for Mali to see his spot kick saved by the Indian keeper with the last kick of the first half.

Saudi Arabia kept India on the back foot for most of the second half and that pressure finally told when substitute Al Brikan netted twice within a minute ten minutes from time to put India on the verge of elimination.

But Al Asmari brought down Khumanthem inside the box leaving Wangjam to hit the leveller from the spot in injury time.

India now need to beat Iran in their final group game to stand any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

UAE 1-1 Iran

In Sunday’s other Group A clash, Iran broke the deadlock just after half-time only for the UAE to hit a rapid leveller.

Iran hit the woodwork twice during the opening period, with Sharifi first striking the crossbar before skipper Aref Mohammadalipour’s towering header bounced back off the crossbar from a corner.

Substitute Asadabadi stepped off the bench at halftime to put Iran into the lead on 48 minutes, netting his second goal of the tournament.

Iran’s lead was short lived, though, as Dawod fired a shot into the bottom corner just two minutes later, leaving both sides to settle for a draw.

The result leaves both UAE and Iran on four points each, meaning both teams need only a draw in their remaining fixture to progress to the quarter-finals.

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