A spirited and competitive India went down 1-0 to USA in their opening fixture of the Sportchain Friendlies at the FACSA Sports Centre in Benicassim, Spain today (Monday, April 16).
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The first half was competitive in nature with both teams vying hard for the ball. The first real chance of the game went to India when the boys earned a corner in the 4th minute, but the subsequent effort didn’t trouble the scorers.
USA had a chance of their own to take the lead in the 20th minute but Niraj Kumar made the save to keep things level. USA earned a corner few minutes later but the defense was on hand to make the clearance.
Ridge Melvin was introduced as Bekey Oram made way for him in the 29th minute, with both teams trying to control the midfield as the teams headed 0-0 into the break.
India began the 2nd half on an explosive note as Gurkirat had two back to back opportunities to take the lead. The 36th minute saw Gurkirat miss from a one-on-one situation with the keeper while a minute later he dribbled past three, only to hit it straight towards the keeper.
Vikram had a golden chance to get the breakthrough after he rounded the keeper but he hit off target in his excitement. The flurry of attacks shook the US teams as they grinded their way back into the match.
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