The clash apart from being a World Cup Qualifier will also serve as the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifier. The Igor Stimac-coached side, ranked 104 in the world, are strong favourites to beat neighbours Bangladesh who are 83 rungs below them. India had lost to Oman 1-2 in their opening match before holding Asian champions Qatar to a goal-less draw in their previous match. They now have two points from three matches, while Bangladesh stay at the bottom with one point from three games. MATCH REPORT
We did all we could, we gave everything today. We have a bright future. We gave a lot of entertainment to the fans. It is the future, we are going to be on the offensive. We were slow at the back in the first 45 minutes, the gaps were not opening. We gave away a simple goal. Congratulations to Bangladesh but we will not win if we concede silly goals. Scoring goals, obviously, is the immediate improvement needed. Better movements needed. We are still young: Igor Stimac, India head coach
The match ends with the air heavy with a sense of what could have been. Despite India equalising late in the match, Bangladesh will be the one who are more than happy to walk away with a point.
It ends here in Kolkata, India 1-1 Bangladesh.
FULL TIME!— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 15, 2019
A tightly fought encounter comes to an end as both sides head back into the tunnel on level terms.
🇮🇳 1-1 🇧🇩#INDBAN ⚔ #WCQ 🏆 #BackTheBlue 💙 #BlueTigers 🐯 #IndianFootball ⚽ pic.twitter.com/SqmlQEIqTJ
88' GOAL! -
India are looking increasingly frustrated. Sunil Chhetri tries to get at the end of long ball and fails. He alleges impediment from the Bangladesh defender, the referee disagrees.
Minutes later from the corner after yet another Chhetri effort. Adil Khan rises high in the air to head home a thundering goal to bring parity!
India 1-1 Bangladesh
73' Attack! -
Sunil Chhetri's glancing header from a corner is just wide.
Last throw of the die from Igor Stimac... Anas Edathodika is brought off and in comes Lallianzuala Chhangte.
The message from the boss is clear - attack, attack, attack!!
The half-time whistle blows and the Indian football team have some things to talk about. Igor Stimac will surely have though words for his center-back pair and the goal-keeper.
Bangladesh will be the happier of the two sides, not only they have the lead but they do so without having to venture forward that often,
Elsewhere, India win the SAFF Under-15 Women's Championship!
While the boys fight it out in Kolkata, our U-15 girls have won the penalty shootout, to win the #SAFFU15Women's 🏆 Championship! 🙌🙌— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 15, 2019
🇧🇩 3-5 🇮🇳
📺: https://t.co/wIsZTZCXcL#BANIND ⚔ #BackTheBlue 💙 #ShePower 💪 #IndianFootball ⚽ pic.twitter.com/LeyEFSXsEY
31' Averted -
India are trying some variation in set pieces. None have worked so far.
The Bangladesh defense, on the other hand, have managed to hold their own so far despite the constant attack.
At the other end, a mistake from Adil means Bangladesh are in. Fortunately for the Blue Tigers the effort is save by a slide from Anas.
India face Bangladesh in Kolkata (Photo Credit; AIFF and BFF)
Bangladesh were the more organised and penetrating side as they put up a spirited show against India who were backed by a full-capacity crowd at the Saltlake Stadium.
Inspirational captain Sunil Chhetri was not at his best as also goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who kept at bay the marauding Qataris in the memorable drawn game in Doha.
Gurpreet misjudged the flight of the ball to let in the Bangladesh's goal to the stunning silence of the packed 65,000-plus crowd.
It was Rahul Bheke who conceded a freekick on the left and Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan curled it in to the far post where Gurpreet missed the flight completely and Saad Uddin finished it with a diving header.
🏟 VYBK Stadium, Kolkata
⏳ 07:30 PM
📺 @StarSportsIndia, @asianet, @hotstartweets#BackTheBlue 💙 #IndianFootball ⚽ #INDBAN ⚔ pic.twitter.com/UIP4Y9fPaN
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 15, 2019
Ranked 83 places below India, Bangladesh looked more threatening and could have easily doubled the lead in the 54th minute when the right winger Mohammad Ibrahim's shot hit the crosspiece.
India woke up from their slumber only late in the second half, making a flurry of chances but then Bangladesh defence gave a good account of themselves with Ibrahim making a goal-line clearance from Anas Edathodika's header.
In the 88th minute, Adil Khan equalised, a minute after Chhetri's shot was deflected. Brandon set it up with an accurate corner and Adil found it near the post to find the goal.
The Igor Stimac-coached side paced up their attack but it was too little too late then as Bangladesh proved a point, opening their account in Group E.
Earlier in the first-half, India had their share of chances. One such chance was in the 18th minute when Bheke's powerful header zoomed over the crosspiece.
India had their first shot on target in the fifth minute when Manvir Singh floated in a long-ball with Ashique Kuruniyan leaving it for Chhetri but the Indian captain volleyed it straight to the Bangladeshi goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana.
Bangladesh also looked to penetrate early and came close in the 31st minute when Adil Khan made a mess of a back pass as Biplo Ahmed took the control of the ball but thankfully Anas Edathodika averted the danger.
The 104-ranked India thus are yet to win against Bangladesh since 1999 when the Blue Tigers had won 1-0 in the SAFF Games.
Bangladesh stay unbeaten from three matches against India. The last two matches between the two teams, in 2013 and 2014, ended in 1-1 and 2-2 draws respectively.
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