Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
proflie-avatar
Login
exit_to_app
Liquor, liquor everywhere!
access_time 25 May 2024 6:03 AM GMT
More support for an independent Palestine
access_time 24 May 2024 12:02 PM GMT
When toxins flow through Periyar once again
access_time 23 May 2024 5:34 AM GMT
Eight years balance sheet of LDF government
access_time 22 May 2024 4:58 AM GMT
Ebrahim Raisi
access_time 21 May 2024 5:20 AM GMT
Chabahar Port
access_time 20 May 2024 4:00 AM GMT
DEEP READ
Schools breeding hatred
access_time 14 Sep 2023 10:37 AM GMT
Ukraine
access_time 16 Aug 2023 5:46 AM GMT
Ramadan: Its essence and lessons
access_time 13 March 2024 9:24 AM GMT
exit_to_app
Homechevron_rightSportschevron_rightAsian Games: India...

Asian Games: India crashes out of pre-quarters after 0-2 loss to Saudi

text_fields
bookmark_border
Asian Games: India crashes out of pre-quarters after 0-2 loss to Saudi
cancel

Hangzhou: After losing 0-2 against Saudi Arabia on Thursday at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium, the Indian men's football team's campaign at the 19th Asian Games 2023 came to an end in the Round of 16.

Sunil Chhetri and team lost their first match 5-1 to China before defeating Bangladesh 1-0 and holding Myanmar to a 1-1 draw en route to the knockout rounds. India secured a pre-quarterfinal spot by placing second in Pool A, behind China.

India's plan, right from the get-go was to turn the game into a physical, gritty, scrappy battle. Igor Stimac had stressed the importance of fighting it out on the pitch and it was no surprise to see the Blue Tigers put bodies behind the ball and rely on the counter to surprise their opponents.

Despite holding possession for large periods of the first half, Saudi Arabia didn't really have too many clear-cut chances to go ahead, and for the first quarter, were reduced to taking potshots at goal from distance, Chinglensana Singh and Sandesh Jhingan marshalling the defence beautifully to keep them at bay.

India had their first chance of the game in the 14th minute, Chhetri the architect and the artist, cutting past three Saudi players, before a lucky bounce presented him with a chance to shoot at goal from outside the box. Shoot he did, albeit straight into the arms of Ahmed Fahad.

From thereon, Saudi recognised India's threat on the counter and pressed higher and harder to negate it. Every clearance or loose ball was immediately snatched upon, and the Indian team were forced back into their own half for most of the half.

In the 22nd, Saudi Arabia came close to opening the scoring, Haitham Asiri curling a shot from just outside the box onto the crossbar. From an ensuing melee, the ball dropped to Awad Al Nashri, whose shot from a narrow angle, drifted wide.

Deep into the half, Dheeraj Singh made a smart save dropping low to his right to save from an Asiri freekick, and Jhingan blocked from Zakaria Al Hawsawi in injury time, to ensure India went into the break level.

Saudi came quickly out of the blocks in the second half, and six minutes in, Marran Mohammed headed in a cross by Abu Al Shamta to give them the lead. He got a second in the 57th minute, calmly collecting Saad Al Nasser's through ball, cutting past Dheeraj and slotting it into the net.

From there it was all about game management, for both sides. Saudi Arabia was keen to not let their levels drop, and for the Blue Tigers, it was crucial to not open up at the back in the search for a goal and concede more.

Dheeraj made some brilliant saves — the standout being one where he went diving backwards to save a header from Rayan Hamed — to ensure the deficit wouldn't increase. In the end, the Blue Tigers' first appearance in the knockouts in over a decade ended valiantly, though without any dividends.


With inputs from IANS

Show Full Article
TAGS:FootballAsian GamesSports News
Next Story