Jeakson Thounaojam on October 9 entered his name in India’s football history when he headed in off a corner kick to become the first Indian to score at a FIFA World Cup in any age group. He achieved this feat during the 82nd minute of a Group A fixture of the FIFA U-17 World Cup between India and Colombia at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. India, however, lost by a slender 1-2 margin to Colombia.
Interestingly, the score at half-time remained 0-0 with 68% possession dominated by the away side. In the second-half, Colombian side bounced back and managed to score the opening goal. India responded by scoring the equaliser from a corner delivered by Sanjeev Stalin which was headed in by Jeakson, who was left unmarked at the near post.
The celebration of India’s first ever FIFA World Cup goal did not last long as Juan Penaloza timed his run to perfection and scored the winner for Colombia in the very next minute.
— Meeqat Hashmi (@MeeqatHashmi) October 9, 2017
Here are a few interesting facts about Jeakson Thounaojam:
1. Jeakson Thounaojam was born on June 21, 2001, in Manipur.
2. He plays as Midfielder for India’s national Under-17 football team.
3. Jeakson was once rejected for the national team
4. He was called ‘unnaturally tall’ by former India U-17 coach Nicolai Adam for his height of nearly 6 feet at 14 years of age.
5. Jeakson’s mother sold vegetables to support his career
6. His father had to leave his job with Manipur Police after suffering a stroke in 2015.
7. Jeakson’s elder brother, Jonichand, contributes to the family with the meagre income he earns by playing for Peerless Club in the Kolkata Premier League
Monday’s loss means that India will have to beat Ghana by a big margin in their last group match and hope that Colombia loses to the US in order to enter the knockout phase.