New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium witnessed history again as Jeakson Singh scored India’s first-ever World Cup goal, but Juan Penaloza’s brace broke the hearts of the millions as Colombia defeated the hosts 2-1 to register their first win of the tournament.
The game started on the expected note with Colombia enjoying the lion’s share of possession. Both the times tried to test each other with long balls, but neither of them managed to create any clear-cut chance early on. With both the teams losing their opening games, the desperation to get the first goal was seen. Colombia, meanwhile, enjoyed the possession but the Indian defence did well not to provide them with any chance.
The first and real chance of the open-ended game came in the 16th minute when Abhijit Sarkar surged with the ball beating two Colombian defenders to find a clear shot at the goal and the opportunity to score India’s first ever World Cup goal, but he was denied by an excellent save from Kevin Meir.
Colombia continued to enjoy the majority of the possession, but it was an open game with both the teams threatening to score, but neither of them succeeded in making the chances count. India were denied once again just at the stroke of the half-time when Rahul hit the post after Boris Singh gave passed him the ball at the edge of the box.
India’s dodgy resilience, nonetheless, came to an end just four minutes after the break when Juan Penaloza, getting the ball at the edge of the box on the right-hand side, unleashed a fierce shot to the left corner to fire his team to the lead. India tried to score the equaliser immediately with Meetei sending down a threatening cross from the right flank which Rahul managed to head, but it went just wide.
India had the chance to go level in the 76th minute when Naorem only had the Colombia ‘keeper Kevin Mier to beat, but he hit his shot straight at Mier. The long wait, however, finally came to an end when a bullet header from Jeakson Singh off Stalin’s corner gave India its first ever World Cup goal.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 9, 2017
But even before the delighted crowd could settle down, Colombia hit the equaliser with Juan Penaloza being the scorer again. Penaloza beat Anwar Ali and Namit Deshpande before coolly slotting the ball beyond the India ‘keeper. The visitors then held on to their slender lead to register a crucial win.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the match:
India's football administrators have a huge challenge and a huge opportunity. Will be unforgivable to let this go.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 9, 2017
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 9, 2017
— Jaspreet Sahni (@JaspreetSSahni) October 9, 2017
Indian defence and Goalkeeper is just awesome. World class I would say, we just need to provide support & infra, boys will rock. #INDvCOL
— Manoj Kumar Sahu (@ManojSahuG) October 9, 2017
India's Dheeraj Singh can easily be the starting goalkeeper at Liverpool! #FIFAU17WC
— Aakriti Mehrotra (@Aakriti1) October 9, 2017
A tough lesson learnt by the kids but the Indian team made everyone proud today! Lots of endeavour and created a few good chances!#INDvCOL
— Vinay Sundar (@VinaySundar) October 9, 2017
— Patilism (@Patiilism) October 9, 2017
— Ranit Das (@ranitd94) October 9, 2017
— Shamik Chakrabarty (@shamik100) October 9, 2017
— Prasanna Muthukumar (@PrasannaMKumar) October 9, 2017