Hong Kong: India U-16 were crowned champions of the Jockey Cup International Youth Invitational Football Tournament after defeating hosts Hong Kong 4-2 in the final here on Sunday.
A brace from Bekey Oram in the first half and goals from Rohit Danu and Lalrokima in the second settled the issue for India. This was India's third consecutive victory in as many days. They had earlier defeated Chinese Taipei (4-0) and Singapore (3-1).
The team, coached by Bibiano Fernandes, is presently unbeaten in 22 matches that include friendly games against national youth teams and international club and academy sides.
The youth tournament was a part of a series of international exposure tours planned by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) along with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to provide the best preparation for the squad in their quest to qualify to the next edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The tournament was an under-17 event where India fielded their under-16 national team. They have already qualified for the AFC U-16 Finals from where the top four teams will make it to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"My heartiest congratulations to the boys and the coaching staff. I am excited by the performance of this team but now they have much sterner tests ahead," AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said.
"AIFF is committed to developing youth football and once again I express my gratitude to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for their wonderful support in our endeavours," he added.
The team, which had earlier been on exposure tours to Dubai and Qatar, now head to Spain where they will be playing in a tournament which includes short-format league matches plus a knockout elite tournament.
The tournament will also see participation from clubs/academies of the football giants such as FC Barcelona, Manchester United, UC Sampdoria, Villareal CF, FC Shakhtar Donetsk, etc.
The boys thereafter play the Sport Chain Cup in Spain which is a 4-nation single-round tournament against the national sides of USA, Norway and Morocco.