India put up a clinical performance in the final match of the SAFF U-17 Championship as they defeated a 10-man Nepal 4-0 on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at the Racecourse International Stadium, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. With this win, India successfully defended the title. Boby Singh, Korou Singh, captain Vanlalpeka Guite, and Aman were the four goal scorers for India.
India also avenged their group stage defeat to Nepal. The Men in Blue had suffered a 1-3 loss to Nepal. However, in the final, India looked a side eager to take complete charge of the proceedings right from the word go. They got off the blocks early in the match and managed to get the lead in the 18th minute through Boby, who headed it into the goal at the far post, after a good piece of play between Ricky Meetei and Vanlalpeka Guite, as the latter sailed a cross towards the eventual goal scorer.
Guite was in the thick of things again 12 minutes later, getting another assist to his name, as he played a through ball to Korou Singh, who just had to round the keeper and slot it home. Nepal showed urgency after this second goal but India’s defence was quite intact. This led to frustration in the Nepal camp and as a result, captain Prashant Laksam elbowed Danny Laishram on the back after the two tangled up in a challenge - an action that was straightaway awarded with a red card by the referee.
India saw off the first half with ease and with a 2-0 lead. Vanlalpeka Guite helped the team further extend its lead as he found the back of the net in the 63rd minute, when his cross from the left swerved into the top corner, handing India a three-goal lead.
Nepal's second-half substitute Dhan Singh did create a couple of chances for his side in the closing minutes, but the one-man advantage meant that India was able to thwart the efforts. Meanwhile, India's second-half substitute Aman added salt to the wounds in injury time, netting the fourth goal, after he was set through behind the Nepal defence.
Eventually, it was a neat win for India and their captain Vanlalpeka Guite was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, while goalkeeper Sahil won the Best Goalkeeper award.
Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes hailed the effort of his boys. "I am extremely proud of my boys. There has been a lot of hard work put in, and every support staff, and player deserves equal credit. The efforts put in by AIFF at the youth level by providing us continuous exposure tours with help from SAI has helped the boys mature."