Football.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Aug 3 : Time stood still as Jeakson Singh Thounaojam leapt higher than all in the sultry Delhi air to head the ball into the back of the Colombian net -- becoming India's first-ever goal-scorer at a FIFA World Cup in 2017.

As he ran to celebrate much to the joy of the delirious home fans, joining the celebrations was the man with the armband -- Amarjit Singh Kiyam -- Jeakson's fellow midfield general as well as cousin -- with the two having made the journey from Thoubal to the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 together.

The unforgettable goal has inspired a new generation of players across the length and breadth of the country to dream big and soar high.

Among those is another member of the Manipuri duo's family itself -- Kritina Devi Thounaojam - some two years younger to her elder cousins, and currently a probable of the Indian U-17 Women's team for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

"I remember watching Jeakson's goal in the World Cup live on television. It was a unique feeling. It was such a powerful moment for the country, and also our family," 17-year-old Kritina told www.the-aiff.com.

"I was inspired to play football seeing my brothers. Amarjit and Jeakson taught me so much. We trained together whenever they would come back to our village. Practising with them always made me very happy.

"It was amazing when I saw them playing in the World Cup. That motivates me to play in the World Cup as well. It will be a proud moment if we have three World Cuppers from the family," she added.

Amarjit, who made his senior team debut last year at the age of 18, jogged down memory lane and mentioned how all of them took their first lessons from the same coach, where Kritina would sometimes be the only girl.

"All of us used to train together under Jeakson's father (Deben Singh) -- he was our first coach. There were other players as well with us. The first girl to have joined was Kritina. There were times when she was the only girl amongst us and would also play for our local team," Amarjit mentions.

"She is a very good player -- technically good and mentally very strong. Seeing her, a few more girls also joined from nearby, including Babina (Devi Lisham, another U-17 women's team player)," Amarjit, who has five senior international caps to his name, said.

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