Tuesday , May 28 2024

2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers: Fighting India lose 0-1 to hosts Qatar!

The Indian Under-22 national team in their second match of the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship – Group C qualifiers suffered their second loss, this time an unlucky one against the hosts Qatar at the Al Sadd Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Friday evening.

India coach Stephen Constantine made six changes to his starting eleven with Nishu Kumar, Lalruatthara, Nikhil Poojary, Germanpreet Singh, Daniel Lalhimpuia and Manvir Singh being replaced by Davinder Singh, Sarthak Golui, Vinit Rai, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Hitesh Sharma and Alen Deory.

Salam Ranjan Singh also took over the captain’s armband from Lalruatthara in his absence.

The newly put together India side were after the ball for most of the first session, but Qatar didn’t get through to the defensive line too often. At the break it was goalless.

The winner for Qatar came in the 54th minute as a long ball could not be collected by Vishal Kaith as an alert Al Moaaz Ali places the ball perfectly into the net beating two Indian defenders.

In the final quarter of the game India woke up, came out of their shell and put the tiring Qataris under pressure. First a Lallianzuala Chhangte cross was smacked to the woodwork by Manvir Singh and then headed over by Nikhil Poojary in the 79th minute, then following a corner Sarthak Golui’s header had to be saved by the Qatari keeper, Daniel Lalhlimpuia’s long ranger caused problems before deep in injury time Anirudh Thapa’s effort few over.

The game ended 1-0 in favour of hosts Qatar with the India Juniors giving the Qataris a real fight especially in the last quarter of the match, where they came close on numerous occasions to score. India next face Turkmenistan on Sunday, July 23 in what would be the final game of the qualifiers for the Junior Men in Blue.

INDIA U-22: 1-Vishal Kaith – 22-Davinder Singh, 4-Salam Ranjan Singh [C], 21-Sarthak Golui, 18-Jerry Lalrinzuala – 15-Nandha Kumar (77′ 7-Nikhil Poojary), 19-Anirudh Thapa, 8-Vinit Rai, 14-Lallianzuala Chhangte – 11-Hitesh Sharma (82′ 10-Daniel Lalhlimpuia), 12-Alen Deory (70′ 9-Manvir Singh)

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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One comment

  1. This is the 4th time I am going to write that Vishal Kaith has a serious problem with his outing. If anyone follows the site of arunfoot he would have seen that after each of the last 3 matches of India U-23 team , I had written that Stephan needs to do something about this goalie named Vishal Kaith.

    Overall it was an excellent performance of the Indian team. Only Vishal Kaith appeared to be clueless about his position whenever the ball came flying inside the Indian box.
    In the past , after 70th minute mark , major Asian teams would humiliate and demolish India. For a change it was great to see India dominating the match after the 70th minute.It was great to see the Qatari coach worriedly looking at his watch and the young fans of Qatar chewing their nails and praying to the heavens for the match to end.

    I wish , again , that Stephan and AIFF , had seriously panned for practice matches for our U-23 team. Stephan and AIFF merely fooled the world claiming to plan for an exposure trip to USA. If India U-23 had played a few matches against 2nd and 3rd division clubs of Europe then they would have secured points against both Syria and Qatar.

    In future I want Stephan to be more honest and sincere. If someone is sincere and honest , then hard work can do miracles. Our big boys don’t need theoretical lectures and long camps. They need plenty of practice matches against strong opponents.So, instead of keeping the boys in a camp , AIFF should arrange for plenty of official and unofficial practice matches against good opponents.