Tuesday , May 28 2024

2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers: India lose opener 0-2 to Syria!

The Indian Under-22 national team opened the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship – Group C qualifiers with a 0-2 loss to Syria at the Al Sadd Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday afternoon.

India were on the backfoot from the start with Syria going straight into the attack and the first shot deflected by Nishu Kumar beat keeper Vishal Kaith but just went wide of the goal.

Striker Daniel Lalhimpuia had the first chance for India, but his shot went wide. Thereafter it was Syria again and their pressure on the India goal became even more.

Syria’s best chance of the half came in the 24th minute following a corner with Vishal Kaith making an impressive save, the ball touching the inside of the post and then it was cleared by the Indian defence.

Towards the end of the first session, India got out of the grip of the Syrians and moved up themselves. The best chance for the youthful Indians came in the 37th minute when a Germanpreet Singh right-footer hit the post before the Syrian keeper cleared it for a corner. At the break it remained goalless.

After the restart, India seemed more involved and a Manvir Singh header landed in the hands of Syria keeper Mohammed Yazan Ourabi.

But thereafter again India seemed to lose grip of the encounter as Syria upped the pressure and in the 64th minute they went ahead. A lob for Syrian striker Rabie Srour caused a misunderstanding between an out of position keeper Vishal Kaith and left back Jerry Lalrinzuala with Salam Ranjan Singh’s last ditch effort coming too late.

With India going behind they had to risk more going forward. India coach Stephen Constantine made the first substitution in the 72nd minute with Hitesh Sharma coming in for Daniel Lalhimpuia, while a double substitution followed in the 81st minute, Sarthak Golui and Robinson Singh coming in for Lalruatthara and Anirudh Thapa respectively.

But things didn’t change as Syria sealed their win in the 88th minute when Fares Arnaout head home following a corner.

The game ended 2-0 in favour for Syria with the India Juniors coming short of what was needed to beat the west Asians. India next face hosts Qatar on Friday, July 21 in what would be a tougher task for the boys then today.

INDIA U-22: Vishal Kaith – Nishu Kumar, Lalruatthara [C] (81′ 21-Sarthak Golui), 4-Salam Ranjan Singh, 18-Jerry Lalrinzuala – 7-Nikhil Poojary, 19-Anirudh Thapa (81′ 20-Robinson Singh), 6-Germanpreet Singh, 15-Nandha Kumar – 10-Daniel Lalhimpuia (72′ 11-Hitesh Sharma), 9-Manvir Singh

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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  1. Sanjoy Choudhuri

    After watching India U23´s two recent friendly matches against Singapore U23 , I had on both occasions highlighted Vishal Kaith´s problem of coming out of the box and that any good striker would punish him by chipping the ball.The Syrian player did that any good striker would enjoy punishing him.

    I don´t think it was wise of Vishal Kaith to join the ISL this season. If he is fielded in ISL , he would get severely punished within the first 2-3 matches and then he would be sent to reserve bench for the entire season. Vishal Kaith should have stayed back at Shillong Lajong and fixed this problem of his.

  2. Sanjoy Choudhuri

    If India senior team has to seriously perform good then Stephen Constantine needs to cut down his cleverness. Stephen is so very clever that his cleverness badly out runs his honesty and sincerity. Ever since Stephen assumed the responsibility of the national team he has only focused on improving the FIFA ranking of India. Most of us know the mathematics and formula used to calculate the FIFA rankings. Stephen and AIFF has so very misused the formula that India now ranks above Iraq , Togo , North Korea , Thailand and Oman who would comfortably defeat India at least 9 out of 10 times on any given day.

    Stephen and AIFF should henceforth appropriately balance cleverness and honesty. For every friendly match that India plays with the sole aim of improving or retaining the FIFA ranking , India should also play a match against Asian competitors who are genuinely stronger than India but not extremely stronger eg Syria , Oman , Qatar , Kuwait and Thailand. For the match aimed at ranking , AIFF should spend some money and get a team with the right kind of ranking from the American continent. Now the interesting part of getting a team from American continent is that the guys would be dead tired from Jet Lag for at least 2-3 days. The match should be organised at that Indian local time which corresponds to the time when the guys should be sleeping in America.Who ever has traveled between USA and India knows very well that Jet Lag attacks the most on the 2nd day after completion of travel.

    This U23 India team didn´t play enough of practice matches. Stephen was busy with his personal goals and was trying to convince AIFF for an exposure trip to USA. He was also busy lecturing on whether or not ISL is good for Indian football.
    He should not have wasted crucial days and instead should have arranged for some matches against some of the club teams of West Asia. If India U23 team had played some matches against 2nd division clubs of West Asia , they would have better faced the Syrian U23 team.