India qualify for AFC U16 Football main round

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New Delhi, Nov 8 (UNI) India blanked Bhutan 4-0 in their last group match to qualify for the AFC Under-16 Football Championship, in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Akshay Kumar Mall scored a brace in the 68th and 83rd minutes after Aashish Chettri (34th) and Abhishek Das (36th) had given India 2-0 lead at the breather in a Group C match of the qualification competition last night.

India finished second in the six-team group with 13 points from four wins and one draw -- against Iraq (2-2).

Iraq also collected 13 points but topped the group on better goal difference of 26 (28 for and two against) as against 16 (18 and two against) for India.

Hosts Saudi Arabia, who lost to Iraq, finished third with nine points.

The Indians first routed Sri lanka 6-0 before drawing Iraq. They then defeated Lebanon and hosts Saudi Arabia with identical margins of 3-0 before last night's triumph against Bhutan.

All India Football Federation President Priyaranjan Dasmunsi has announced a cash incentive of Rs 20,000 for each member of the team.


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