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Floyd Pinto hails India after team lifts SAFF U-18 Championship


ANI Football
After India U-18 lifted the SAFF U-18 Championship 2019 for the first time on Sunday, head coach Floyd Pinto said his team was not only the best 'footballing team' in the tournament but also the most 'effective team'.
Vikram Pratap Singh scored the opening goal of the match when the game was in the second minute but Bangladesh scored an equaliser before the end of the first half. Both the teams were stuck on 1-1 until Ravi Bahadur Rana scored an impeccable goal in the 90+1' minute of the match, handing India U-18 a 2-1 win.
"I had maintained that it will take a moment of brilliance to end this SAFF Championship, and it was fitting that Ravi finished it off with a wonderful strike," All India Football Federation's (AIFF) website quoted Pinto as saying.
"We were not just the best footballing team in the tournament, but also the most effective team. I am really happy for the boys. They earned it. The sacrifices and the commitment of the boys was exemplary," he added.
India U-16 team have qualified for the AFC U-16 Championships while the U-19 Team will play the AFC Qualifiers in November in their quest to qualify for the AFC Finals.
AIFF President Praful Patel congratulated India U-18 for their achievement.
"Congratulations to everyone. The team improved with every match. It's double delight for Indian youth teams especially after the U-16 qualified to AFC Championships last week. Keep it up," Patel said.
AIFF General Secretary, Kushal Das, also congratulated the team as he said, "The SAFF U-18 Championship had been eluding us. Congratulations to everyone. This triumph will add confidence prior to the AFC U-19 Qualifiers in November which is the ultimate test."
Pinto thanked AIFF and Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the support.
"I am very thankful to AIFF and SAI for their help in the exposure tours all throughout, and look forward to their support," Pinto said.

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First Published: Sep 29 2019 | 6:17 PM IST

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