New Delhi: Indonesia's Ragunan Sports School became the first foreign team to move into the semifinals, beating NCC from the North Eastern Region 2-1, in the Under-17 boys category at the 55th Subroto Cup here today.
The Indonesians, who held to the lead until the end, emerged winners thanks to Fadel Ali and Egy Maulana Vikki, the goal-getters for them. For NCC, Lalremruata struck in the 65th minute but with the clock ticking away, they could not do much.
The Indonesians will have to wait until tomorrow to know who they would be running into in the October 18 semifinals as the fourth quarterfinal between the teams from Brazil and Nepal is slated for Thursday.
The winner of the semifinals will take on MSP High School from Kerala, who are watching action from sidelines while resting, in the October 20 final.
Today's quarterfinals had very little to offer in terms of thrill in spite of the presence of a foreign team. Nevertheless, the Indonesians knew what their strategy would be on the day and they just stuck to the plans.
Pressing hard from the very beginning, they put NCC under constant pressure and it was telling upon their attacking prowess. Reasonably a good side, NCC wilted under the sustained stress and left a few gaps in their defence which only helped the Raguanan Sports School's cause.
For instance, the attack by Indonesia paved the way for their first goal with Ali making most of a cross from centre. He trapped the ball nicely and beat a couple of defenders inside the box to slot in. With a one-goal advantage, it was time for Vikki to strike once more before the teams could go for the break. Vikki did precisely that in the 29th minute and the Indonesians went happily inside for the 10-minute break.
Changing ends, they simply fortified their defence and played long ball for their opponents to take all the risk. The NCC side did take the risk and hit the target once. But the goal came too late in the day for them to press further.