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It Was a Case of Bad Luck Against Colombia: India’s U-17 Captain

I am proud of Jeakson Singh Thanoujam for scoring India’s first-ever FIFA World Cup goal, says Amarjit Singh.

Published
Football
3 min read
India’s Jeakson Singh heads the ball in the goal during the match against Colombia.
i

Captain Amarjit Singh expressed that India's heartbreaking loss to Colombia was a case of "bad luck" but was very proud of his first cousin, Jeakson, who scored the country's first-ever FIFA World Cup goal.

India came agonisingly close to securing their first ever draw, if not a win, in a FIFA tournament when Jeakson Singh Thanoujam's bullet header found the back of the net against Colombia in their second group game of the ongoing U-17 World Cup.

But, the Colombians struck almost immediately on the counter to restore the lead, leaving the 46,000 turnout at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium teary-eyed.

Had India held on, it would have been one unforgettable moment for Amarjit too, as skipper of the team.

It was a case of bad luck. I am feeling very proud that he scored the country’s first goal in a World Cup.
Amarjit Singh

Jeakson Singh broke into the team just six months ago.

Jeakson Singh celebrates India’s first-ever FIFA World Cup goal with his teammates.
Jeakson Singh celebrates India’s first-ever FIFA World Cup goal with his teammates.
(Photo: PTI)
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Both Jeakson and Amarjit are midfielders and have been playing in that position since the time they were introduced to the sport at their Haokha Mamang village in Manipur's Thoubal district.

Amarjit repeated the luck factor on a day India hit the framework once, besides coming very close to scoring on another occasion in the first half. Midfielder Rahul Kannoly was the unfortunate boy in blue, then.

"It was bad luck because the ball hit the post too in the first half."

It was a much-improved outing by debutants India, three days after being thrashed 0-3 by USA in their opening Group A encounter.

Asked to compare the two games, Amarjit said:

USA was the first game for everyone in the U-17 World Cup, playing in front of so many people was a very different experience. For the next game we knew how the atmosphere was going to be in the ground.
Amarjit Singh

Summing up the experience of playing in the the first two matches, the skipper said:

It was a great feeling because not everyone gets to experience this. Every player dreams to play the World Cup. I have realised my dream. The result was not good but we gave our 100 percent.
Amarjit Singh
India and Colombia players in action.
India and Colombia players in action.
(Photo: PTI)

Growing up in a football-crazy state in a remote corner of the country, Amarjit had dreamt of donning the national colours since his childhood.

In the four-nation tournament in Mexico before the showpiece, India's Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos used Amarjit and Jeakson in two of the three international friendlies.

Having played together for so long, both have developed a good understanding.

Ranjit Rana, technical advisor at I-league club Minerva FC, with whom Jeakson is employed, was at the venue to witness his ward's moment of glory.

You can play him in any position. He has got quick vision, his head work is great, his first touch is good and he runs like a lion.
Ranjit Rana

Jeakson's association with Minerva FC started when he was drafted into their U-14 side under former India international Harjinder Singh.

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(With inputs from PTI)

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