Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024
Blue Tigers settle for a draw against Afghanistan

India played out a goalless draw towards hosts Afghanistan at the Damac Stadium in Abha, Saudi Arabia, in their third FIFA Environment Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 match, on Friday, March 22, 2024.

With this consequence, India climbed to the 2nd place in Group A with four details from three matches, followed by Kuwait, who are on a few points from as quite a few game titles.

The equation was very very clear for both of those groups. A gain would do either team a world of very good. For India, it would indicate provisionally having the next place in Group A, three points forward of Kuwait, who experienced shed -3 towards Qatar previously in the night time. 3 details for Afghanistan would draw them amount with Kuwait and India, producing the race to the second spot in the group a a few-way fight.

A feisty midfield battle ensued in the opening exchanges, lunging tackles frequently on display screen for the vociferous group at the Damac Stadium. Even though Afghanistan appeared to use their pace and physicality to assert dominance, India ended up intent on taking part in a passing game.

Vikram Partap Singh, who experienced gained his senior national team debut in January, designed the starting off XI for the initial time in his occupation, and was a constant thorn in the Afghanistan defence. The forward held drifting in between the centre and the wing, typically switching with Manvir Singh, which caused a lot confusion in the Afghanistan ranks.

After a number of early exchanges, the Indian midfield slowly and gradually commenced to clamp their control. Lallianzuala Chhangte, prancing down the remaining, observed an unmarked Manvir with a small cross. The latter, who had drifted within from the correct flank, sent his shot broad.

Even with India’s manage around the recreation, Afghanistan stored getting their probabilities, particularly on the counter. Mosawer Ahadi was launched down the right flank, as he minimize in and unleashed a left-footed roller that India custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu grabbed with both of those fingers.

Manvir had more than a person opportunity to score in the 1st half by itself. A corner from Chhangte, and a cross whipped in by fullback Nikhil Poojary ended up great possibilities for the India forward to rating, but equally went begging, as the 1st half arrived to a close.

If Manvir experienced prospects to score in the to start with half but could not, it was Vikram Pratap’s change in the 2nd to skip a handful of.

2 times, he was played in behind the Afghanistan defence. Though on the to start with event, the ball was just a property as well significantly, the 22-12 months-aged managed to wriggle earlier his marker in the second prospect, only to operate into a cul-de-sac, in which the angle was much too slender for him to get a crack at purpose. His final possibility came just minutes forward of the hour mark, when he managed to get into the six-garden box, unmarked, and connected a header on to a cross by Akash Mishra the energy went inches huge.

Vikram’s night, nonetheless, shortly came to an close. A mistimed deal with attained him a scheduling, and head mentor Igor Stimac took the opportunity to change him with Brandon Fernandes.

Afghanistan stored resorting to the counter-attacks and experienced arguably their greatest scoring prospect of the recreation in the 62nd moment when Rahmat Akbari’s reduced cross found Omid Popalzay in the Indian box, but Rahul Bheke intervened just in time to shrug the Afghanistan midfielder off the ball.

Stimac produced a closing toss of the dice with a quarter of an hour left on the clock, bringing on Liston Colaco, Mahesh Naorem, and Deepak Tangri. Colaco observed a great deal of joy down the appropriate, usually sending in crosses, but the Afghanistan defence managed to deal with them.

Subhasish Bose, who had previously replaced Mishra, was additional to the list of Indian gamers who managed to get a totally free header within the Afghanistan box, as he nodded a Colaco corner inches vast of the goal.

As the match wore into personal injury time, Colaco created a single last opportunity, sprinting down the proper flank. His low cross missed captain Sunil Chhetri, but landed at Mahesh’s toes, as the latter tried out to feint his marker to create taking pictures house. Nevertheless, he was quickly dispossessed.

India and Afghanistan will now change to Guwahati, in which they will deal with off yet again on March 26, for their 2nd face in the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA Environment Cup.

India XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK) Nikhil Poojary, Rahul Bheke, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra (Subhasish Bose 60’) Lalengmawia Ralte, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam (Deepak Tangri 74’) Lallianzuala Chhangte (Mahesh Naorem 74’), Sunil Chhetri (C), Manvir Singh (Liston Colaco 74’) Vikram Partap Singh (Brandon Fernandes 60’).

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