Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Schools breeding hatred
access_time 14 Sep 2023 10:37 AM GMT
access_time 16 Aug 2023 5:46 AM GMT
Ramadan: Its essence and lessons
access_time 13 March 2024 9:24 AM GMT
Homechevron_rightSportschevron_rightAFC Asian Cup: After...

AFC Asian Cup: After loss against Australia, India eyes Uzbekistan tie

AFC Asian Cup: After loss against Australia, India eyes Uzbekistan tie

Doha: Sunil Chhetri, the talismanic Indian forward, urged his teammates to look ahead and focus on the match against Uzbekistan following their 0-2 setback to giants Australia in their AFC Asian Cup opener.

The Blue Tigers put on a tenacious performance to keep the Asian giants scoreless in the first half. However, Australia, who were pre-quarterfinalists for the World Cup 2022, established their superiority with goals from Craig Irwine (50') and substitute Jordan Bos (73').

"There are pros and cons to this game. It's not easy to play the best team in Asia," Chhetri said on the AIFF website.

"We are not used to playing sides like these, as we don't play against them very often, so you never know what to expect." The Indian skipper, who began his career in 2005, failed to add to his tally of 93 goals but he said the focus is now on their match against Uzbekistan on January 18.

"It's a mixed bag of feelings right now. Once we watch the videos, perhaps we will gain more confidence and work on the things that we could have done better,” he said.

“Uzbekistan are not Australia, but they're a good side nonetheless. So it will be a big challenge in that game too,” he added.

India have two more matches left in the group with Syria being their last group-stage opponent.

Not all is lost for the Blue Tigers as they still can qualify for the last-16.

While the top two advance directly, to make it 12 teams from six groups, the top four third-placed teams complete the pre-quarters set.

For goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, it was a game of two halves -- a strong performance under the woodwork in the first, while the second half was one to forget.

Proud of my boys

Hailing his wards' performance, Indian head coach Igor Stimac said: “I am proud of my boys. They showed that they are a bunch of honest, hard-working people, who are committed to whatever we ask of them.” India showed that a side placed 102nd in the FIFA World Rankings can thwart a team placed 77 places above them.

"It's frustrating when you have to play teams like these. It would probably not have been so, had it not been a team of Australia's calibre,” said Stimac.

“The second half was not good for us. We could not get out of the zone. The expectations were on the Australian players. They're game-ready, so I am overall happy with the result.” Sandesh Jhingan led India's backline and soldiered on with a hastily bandaged forehead and stitched-up cuts above each eyebrow.

With PTI inputs

Show Full Article
TAGS:IndiaAFC Asian Cup
Next Story