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India vs Bahrain, AFC Asian Cup 2019, Highlights: As It Happened

News18.com | January 15, 2019, 10:01 AM IST
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Catch all the live scores and updates from the AFC Asian Cup 2019 group game between India and Bahrain.

Preview: A heartbreaking loss after a stunning win denting their confidence, India will still be fired up by the prospect of a maiden knock-out round berth when they take on Bahrain in their final Asian Cup group league match on Monday.
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Jan 14, 2019 11:24 pm (IST)

Full-time and the score is Bahrain 1-0 India. The Blue Tigers had started their tournament so well but then went on to lose two consecutive games. 

Jan 14, 2019 11:19 pm (IST)

Goal. Bahrain's Jamal Rashed converts the spot kick and India have one foot out the door of the tournament. 

Jan 14, 2019 11:17 pm (IST)

Oh dear. Skipper Pronay Halder makes a careless tackle inside the box and the referee has no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Penalty to Bahrain. 

Jan 14, 2019 11:13 pm (IST)

Bahrain are inching closer to scoring. That's one of the issues with this approach of looking to simply soak up the pressure; the pressure can just as easily build and a goal can be conceded. 

Jan 14, 2019 11:09 pm (IST)

India's attacks have been limited to mostly counters while it is Bahrain who have had most of the ball. India won't mind that as long as they don't concede or Thailand don't score. 

Jan 14, 2019 11:05 pm (IST)

There are a little over 10 minutes left and both games remain level. As things stand it is India that will qualify automatically for the next round. 

Jan 14, 2019 11:01 pm (IST)

Bahrain keep coming closer and closer to scoring and they had an indirect free-kick inside the box that went out for a corner. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:58 pm (IST)

Tense moments for the India defence as Bahrain managed to hit the bar after some scrambling inside the penalty area. Conceding a goal now for either side would be a death knell. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:53 pm (IST)

Oh dear, Chhetri. The skipper went for the shot after some deliberation but his shot went high and not so mighty, meaning the game still remains goalless. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:51 pm (IST)

Free-kick in a dangerous position for India after Udanta Singh set off on a massive run was chopped down in the final third. This could be exactly what the doctor ordered for India. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:48 pm (IST)

The hour mark has been crossed and the scoreline still remains 0-0. India seem content to sit back and defend, but going for a goal sooner or later just to make that second spot more secure would be nice. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:42 pm (IST)

Indian fans in the stadium have switched on the torches behind their phones and are lighting up the stadium. Meanwhile, both teams have made changes in an attempt to get a goal. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:37 pm (IST)

The initial moments of the second half are reminiscent of the first: both teams attacking when they can but Bahrain look likelier to score. India have quite the task at hand, 

Jan 14, 2019 10:33 pm (IST)

The second half is underway. India are set for qualification if the scoreline of both matches remains the same but one goal against them suddenly puts qualification out of their hands. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:26 pm (IST)

It's worth noting that as things stand, India will go through to the next round in second place since the match between Thailand and UAE is 1-1. Both India and Thailand will have the same number of points but India's goal difference is superior. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:20 pm (IST)

It's half-time and the match is goalless. Bahrain were the slightly better side of the two but India will fancy their chances going into the second half. 

Jan 14, 2019 10:10 pm (IST)

The end of the half is approaching and neither side seems too bothered to try and force the issue at this point. Both look content with taking this scoreline into the break.

Jan 14, 2019 10:04 pm (IST)

The game is past the half hour mark and neither side has consistently managed to attack the other although Bahrain have looked the likelier side to score. At this rate, India would do well to go into the half-time break with the match goalless. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:58 pm (IST)

India make their first meaningful attack in the match and Ashique on the left wing manages to get a ball to Chhetri who is in a dangerous position but a Bahrain defender clears the danger successfully. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:51 pm (IST)

India are now slowly growing into the game but it has been largely about Bahrain thus far. India will need to do more to keep up with the pace set. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:41 pm (IST)

Bahrain have started the match on the front foot. India are clearly still adjusting to the presence of Salam at the back instead of Anas and are yet to mount a decent attack. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:35 pm (IST)

Anas Edathodika has been replaced by Salam Ranjan Singh after seemingly picking up a knock. Not quite the start India had in mind. Will be interesting to see how they cope with this. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:30 pm (IST)

The referee blows his whistle and we are underway! Can India pull off the dream of making the knockouts? We shall find out in 90 minutes. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:26 pm (IST)

The national anthems are done and kickoff is a mere five minutes away. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:16 pm (IST)

Indian fans in fine voice. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:10 pm (IST)

Historically, India have won just one match against Bahrain in seven matches played so far between the two countries. That win (2-0) had come in an international friendly in Bahrain in October, 1979 with striker Shabir Ali scoring both the goals. Bahrain have won on five occasions win while one match ended in a draw. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:05 pm (IST)

Kick-off is now a little over 20 minutes away. This Indian football team has grown as a side in recent times but should they make the knockouts of the Asian Cup, they will be in unchartered territory. No Indian side has managed it thus far. 

Jan 14, 2019 9:03 pm (IST)

Without Thapa - who is undoubtedly the most creative midfielder India have - it will be interesting to see just how India set up in midfield. One gets the feeling the forward line will have to work extra hard today. 

Jan 14, 2019 8:57 pm (IST)

One change to the starting line-up: Rowlin Borges comes in for Anirudh Thapa. 

Jan 14, 2019 8:52 pm (IST)

India may again deploy a defensive approach and hit on the counter against a physical Bahrain as they need just a draw while it is a must-win for the West Asian side as they are with just one point from two matches after their 0-1 loss to Thailand. 

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India vs Bahrain, AFC Asian Cup 2019, Highlights: As It Happened
Image: Twitter

A draw against the West Asian side, currently ranked 113, will be enough for India (ranked 97) to qualify for the round of 16 for the first time in the continent's showpiece event after failed attempts in 1984 and 2011.

Monday's match at the Sharjah Stadium, which may turn out to be the biggest night of Indian football after its achievements during the Golden Years (1951 to 64), is also significant as talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri will equal former captain Bhaichung Bhutia's record of highest appearances for the country at 107 each.

India had finished runners-up in the 1964 edition in Israel but that tournament was played in a round-robin format comprising four countries with the winners being decided on the basis of points collected in the league. There was not a single knock-out match in that edition.

But even a defeat on Monday may still see India (3 points from 2 matches) through to the knock-out rounds as one of the four third-placed teams if hosts United Arab Emirates (4 from 2 matches) beat Thailand (3 from 2 matches) in Al Ain in the other Group A match to be played simultaneously.

Four third-placed sides from the six groups of four team each will also advance to the knock-out rounds, along with the top two countries.

Under the competition rules of the Asian Cup, if two teams end their group stage engagements on equal points, the ranking will be decided first on the basis of head to head result.

So, if both Thailand and India lose their matches on Monday, India will end at third as they have defeated the 'War Elephants' 4-1 in their opening match.

But the Stephen Constantine side cannot lose to Bahrain -- to whom India lost 2-5 in the 2011 Asian Cup -- by a big margin as goal difference will get the first preference while deciding which team makes it to the Round of 16 among third place sides of equal points.

In Groups C and D, two bottom-placed teams have not yet opened their accounts after playing two matches each and they have minus goal difference as against India's plus one.

Courtesy, the stunning win against Thailand has shown that India are no longer an 'also ran' side and the second match against the UAE -- though lost 0-2 -- strengthened the thought that this side can hold onto their own without fear and take the game to the opposition, unlike the teams of the past.

Luck also eluded India in the match against UAE as the woodwork denied them on two occasions while Ashique Kuruniyan and Chhetri had the goalkeeper at their mercy but failed to beat him. India had more shots at opposition goal though UAE had the overwhelming possession.

Constantine has built India into a compact and largely defensive unit which tries to score on the counter. The team largely maintained it shape and intensity in the first two matches against Thailand and UAE.

The lack of creativity in the midfield as compared to other top sides was, however, evident and a lot will depend on Chhetri, who has become the highest Indian goal scorer in the Asian Cup (with four strikes) as well as second highest international goal scorer (67 from 106 matches) among active players.

India may again deploy a defensive approach and hit on the counter against a physical Bahrain as they need just a draw while it is a must-win for the West Asian side as they are with just one point from two matches after their 0-1 loss to Thailand.

The Thais defended deep in the first half against Bahrain and hit on the counter and the 'War Elephants' were able to get a second half goal. So, it is not beyond India's reach to get a favourable result against Bahrain.

Constantine fielded the same starting eleven in both against Thailand and UAE in a 4-4-2 formation and it will have to be seen whether he does the same against Bahrain. The central defender duo of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika largely marshalled the back-line well so far but there were periods of lack of understanding between them which led to the two goals by UAE.

The head coach is unlikely to make changes at the heart of the defence as well as in the upfront duo of Chhetri and Kuruniyan. However, Constantine may try out Balwant Singh at some point in time considering the physicality of the Bahrain side.

Jeje Lapekhlua has been the preferred forward for Constantine to come in as substitute.

Rowlin Borges is an option for Pranoy Halder in the role of a defensive midfielder while attacking midfielder Anirudha Thapa was a bit subdued against UAE. Right winger Udanta Singh was brilliant in the match against Thailand as he was involved in three goals and he was denied by the crossbar against UAE as well.

Historically, India have won just one match against Bahrain in seven matches played so far between the two countries. That win (2-0) had come in an international friendly in Bahrain in October, 1979 with striker Shabir Ali scoring both the goals.

Bahrain have won on five occasions win while one match had ended in a draw.
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