Calcutta: Bravery may not always win you a match, but it almost always wins you hearts. So, despite AIFF XI’s 3-6 defeat to Malaysia’s Harimau Muda in a Group A fixture of the Asia Champions Trophy, at the Barasat Stadium, on Saturday, the Indian youngsters could leave the field with heads held high.
The AIFF team were down to ten men by the 20th minute when Amit Tudu received the marching orders.
But they didn’t give up the fight against a superior team and at half-time the scoreline read a competitive 2-3. But they couldn’t keep up with the Malaysians’ speed in the second half.
For the winners, Najmuddin Samat got a brace while Hafiy Ismail, Dinesh Rajasingam, Kogileshwaran Mohana Raj and Najib Abdullah got a goal each.
For the Indian team, Prosenjit Chakraborty got all the three goals and all three were scored off penalties.
Harimau too lost a player — Hafiy Ismail — to red card, in the 35th minute, but that didn’t affect their game.
The Indians suffered due to a weak defence. The Goutam Ghosh-coached team fought till the end, scoring their third goal in the final minute of added time.