India on Sunday held defending Asian Champions Iraq to a goalless draw in a Group D encounter in the AFC Under -16 Championship Qualifiers at the Halchowk Stadium in Kathmandu.
Finishing their engagements on 5 points from three matches, India continued unbeaten, and now waits for engagements in other groups to finish before they find if they have made it to AFC U-16 Finals.
Notably, they have landed as the best second-placed team among the 10 groups.
Meanwhile, Iraq who finished their engagements on 7 points from 3 matches, has already booked a ticket to the 2018 AFC U-16 Finals.
India started strong; keeping in mind this win would get them a ticket to the AFC U-16 Finals.
At the 6th minute itself, swift Bekey snuck in from the flanks, but the Iraqi goalkeeper managed to save his shot.
Indians were remarkably more determined against the physically superior Iraqis to seize it in the midfield.
In the 42nd minute, Vikram made another robust move but Ricky shot straight to the rival Goalkeeper as both teams headed to the interval locked goalless.
Following the restart at the hour mark, Bekey however missed a chance to finish it off even as the rival Goalkeeper was at a hand-shaking distance from him.
Two minutes later, Ravi flashed another cross from the left flank but it bounced out.
At the 76th minute, Coach Bibiano Fernandes sent out Harpreet on the field. Six minutes later Harpreet single-handedly barged in but the goalkeeper wasn’t to be beaten.
India went all out thereafter but Iraq was adamant in stabilising their defence and increased their numbers at the back.
Nevertheless, the Indian boys impressed with their sheer determination.