Intercontinental Cup 2019: India Show Heart But Lose 2-5 to North Korea
Sunil Chhetri and Lallianzuala Chhangte scored but India lost to North Korea 5-2 in the second game of Intercontinental Cup.
India lost to North Korea in their second game of the Intercontinental Cup (Photo Credit: AIFF)
Ahmedabad: India’s desperate attempt in the second half wasn’t enough as they went down 2-5 to North Korea in their second match of the Intercontinental Cup at the EKA Arena here on Saturday.
With two losses in as many games, India still have a chance of making it to the final, provided they beat Syria by a significant margin in their next match, and hope Tajikistan beat DPR Korea in the other.
While Lallianzuala Chhangte, and Sunil Chhetri scored one each to reduce the margin for India, DPR Korea captain Jong Il Gwan was the star of the show scoring two, and assisting another. Furthermore, Sim Hyon Jin, and Ri Un Chol, and Ri Hyon Kin scored one apiece for the visitors.
Indian National Team Head Coach Igor Stimac said that there was “courage, and confidence on display in the second half.”
“In the second half, we came out with heads up. We had the courage, and confidence when we decided to play football. In the first-half, we played without courage and self- confidence,” he said in the post-match press conference.
“I gave the players the chance to play for India and asked them to enjoy their football. But if you do not show courage, and fight you cannot win,” he added.
“In the second-half, we started taking responsibility, and created chances. We were dangerous in front of their goal. But it was difficult to keep shape, and go up and down continuously. But I'm proud of the way they played,” Stimac said.
Down 0-3 in the first half, a couple of changes by India at half-time brought back the thrust for the hosts. The introduction of Lallianzuala Chhangte, and Udanta Singh in place of Manvir Singh and Brandon Fernandes provided India with the much-needed impetus.
India pulled one back soon when Sunil Chhetri latched on to a stray ball, and played Chhangte through the channel. The latter, took control, and smashed it into the bottom corner. However, Ri Chol soon added a fourth for Korea, after being played through by captain Gwon.
In the 71st minute, Sunil Chhetri managed another one for India – his 71st International goal off a cross from Udanta.
India next play Syria in their last group league match on July 16.
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