Indian U16 National Team at the Lions Cup 1999:
The Indian under-16 team retained the Lions City Club football championship for the second successive year in Singapore. The Indian boys, who played spiritedly throughout the tournament, defeated Perth Club from Australia 2-0 in the final.
India played five matches in the tournament and won all, scoring altogether 18 goals, conceding only three goals in the process. The team was coached by Johar Das, himself a former international. In the semifinal, India were at their devastating best, defeating Cambodia 5-1 in a totally one sided match. The Indian boys led 3-0 at the breather.
The two Indian strikers - Syed Rahim Nabi of Bengal and Malswam Tulunga of Mizoram attracted the most attention. Nabi emerged the top scorer in the tournament with six goals, while his striking partner Tulunga scored five. After Trijit Das last year again young indian strikers left their mark at the Lions Cup.
The Indian team was selected after a 20-day camp at Calcutta under the two coaches, Johar Das and KK Singh. The IFA secretary Ranjit Gupta, who is also the project director of the AIFF under-16 project, took active interest in selecting the team. This is the second international title to come for the success starved Indian football this year, after the SAFF Cup by the seniors.

TEAM:
Goalkeepers: V.P. Satish Kumar (Tata Football Academy), Bikash Das (Bengal).
Defenders: Arindam Hazra (Bengal), Palash Karmakar (Bengal), Bimal Sarkar (Bengal), Amjad Ali Khan (Tata Football Academy), Lakhan Singh (Punjab), G. Rungmei.
Midfielders: Krishna Tudu (Tata Football Academy), Vijay Singh Mali (Uttar Pradesh), Sona Biswas (Bengal), Saroj Kumar Patnaik (SAI, Orissa).
Forwards: Syed Rahim Nabi (Tata Football Academy), Shylo Malswam Tulunga (Tata Football Academy), Sanjiva Rongpi (Assam), Supratik Ain (Bengal).
COACH: JOHAR DAS (Bengal); ASSISTANT COACH: K.K. SINGH (Punjab); MANAGER: RANJIT GUPTA (Bengal).

RESULTS:
Group A:
??-Jun-99: India 5-1 Malaysia - Indian Goals: 3xSyed Rahim Nabi, Krishna Tudu, Malswam Tulunga.
??-Jun-99: India 3-0 AIK Stockholm, Sweden - Indian Goals: Bimal Sarkar, Malswam Tulunga, Abdul Rahim Nabi.
??-Jun-99: India 3-1 Singapore B - Indian Goals: Supratik Ain, G Rungmei, Sanjeeva Rongpi.
Semifinal:
17-Jun-99: India 5-1 Cambodia - Indian Goals: 2xMalswam Tulunga, Palash Karmakar, Syed Rahim Nabi, Supratik Ain.
Final:
19-Jun-99: India 2-0 Perth Club, Australia - Goals: 1:0 Malswam Tulunga (32'), 2:0 Syed Rahim Nabi (57').

The Cup review by the Indian Coach Johar Das:
Johar Das, chief coach of the Lions City Cup-winning U16 Indian football team, feels at least eight of his boys have the talent to graduate to the National League in a year or two. The entire defence-line (Bengal quartet Bimal Sarkar, Palash Karmakar, Amjad Ali Khan and Arindam Hazra), as well as strikers Syed Rahim Nabi and Malswam Tulunga (both TFA) were outstanding, said Das. Medios Vijay Singh Mall (UP) and Saroj Patnaik (Orissa) also excelled. While Hooghly boy Nabi emerged the tournament's top-scorer with six goals, his partner Tulunga struck five times. Both hit bull's-eye in the final on Saturday when India downed Perth Club 2-0. Last year, the Indian boys lifted this trophy under Shankar Maitra's guidance. Nabi has a very good header, while Malswam's dodges and volleys reminded one of Shyam Thapa, said Das. Clubbed with Malaysia, Singapore B and AIK Stockholm, the Indians advanced to the semifinals with an all-win record. Malaysia were dispatched 5-1, AIK Stockholm 3-0 and Singapore B 3-1. In the semis, Cambodia went down 1-5. Our boys may not have been the strongest unit physically, what they scored in were skill and stamina. They also showed an impressive game-sense. That nine boys came from the same state (Bengal) also helped, explained Das. The standard of soccer at the Singapore tournament, Das said, wasn't as bad as the scorelines suggested. Singapore are building up this team with an eye on the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. The Stockholm side was a strong one, too, with two national under-19 players. They took time to adjust to warm conditions. We beat them in the group league, but feared them most in the knockout stages. Fortunately for us, they got knocked out.


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