India crash out of the Asian Cup much to the shock of the fans – India Vs Bahrain Match Highlights
It was heart breaking to watch the Blue Tigers go down to the Bahrain team in the most crucial fixture in the Asian Cup. The score card reflected 1-0 against India, which was a far reflection of the actual match the went.
UAE were at 4 points, Thailand and India each on 3 points and Bahrain at 1 point. With UAE playing Thailand, India needed a win or a draw to qualify for the next stage. India started well to go through. Playing Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpulekha up front, India were constantly giving Bahrain the scares. Add to it the efficient capability of Sandhish Jhingan in the defense and Gurpreet Singh under the bar. India looked to just win the match.
The first half ended at 0-0 with Bahrain attacking the most but not getting any clear chances. India did lost Anas Edathodika to any injury which gave the chance to Salam Ranjan Singh. Ranjan’s teamwork with Jhingan was effective as they formed the block to the nets. Gurpreet also shone throughout the half with 5 saves in the period alone.
With the start of the second half, India lost much of its steam. The pass weren’t coming up that efficiently and the age of Sunil Chhetri was getting the better of the him. One could clearly see him huff and puff in his run-ins. India could have been up by 3 goals until the 60th minute if the crosses came up on point.
Bahrain were still playing their attacking game and they could have scored on the 71st minute had it not been for the post to deny. With Anirudh Thapa coming in on the 79th minute mark for Narzary, India got some energy and started their own attacking game.
A childish play from the defence resulted in an indirect freekick for Bahrain as Gurpreet picked up the ball after it was passed by a defended. Although no casulty was dealt, it did shake the defence and India were making mistakes after mistakes.
The final nail in the coffin came up at the 90th minute with a penalty awarded to Bahrain after their striker was clearly brought down inside the box. Jamal Rashid went to take the penalty and made no mistake from his side in slotting the ball straight down the nets sending Gurpreet the wrong way.
India couldn’t come up with an answer in the last four added minutes. It was too late until then.
Though it was sad to see them walk out of the tournament after starting the tournament being at the top. But this is life and it will continue to go on.
It was a learning experience for the team and everyone associated. And they will come up definitely more lethal and better the next time. Up until then, all the best for the #BlueBrigade