The Blue Colts began to find their rhythm late in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Danny took a chance with a back volley, but it was straight at the keeper. Left-back Thokchom leveled India 21 minutes from time when his long-range left-footed shot ducked into the top corner in spectacular fashion, leaving Ngoc no chance.
Malemngamba Thokchom equalized at the right time for India in their 1-1 draw with Vietnam in the opening game of Group D of the AFC U-17 Asian Cup on Saturday. Vietnam had taken the lead towards the end of the first half, thanks to a strike from Long Vu, but Indian left-back Thokchom helped his team to restore parity in the 69th minute and score a point in the competition.
India will face Uzbekistan and Japan in their next two group matches. The Uzbeks held the Japanese to a 1-1 draw in the group’s other league encounter. For the young Indian side, it was a cautious but controlled start as they enjoyed better ball possession for much of the game and attacked Vietnam at half-time and again.
Early free-kicks to either flank for India meant that Vanlalpeka Guite and Lalpekhlua Ralte could put dangerous balls into Vietnam’s box, but the odds were slipping away. Akash Tirkey had a great chance when he dribbled past two defenders and his shot went a foot wide.