Tuesday , May 28 2024

2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers: India win 3-1 over Turkmenistan!

The Indian Under-22 national team in their third and final match of the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship – Group C qualifiers scored a moral boosting 3-1 win over Turkmenistan at the Al Sadd Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Sunday afternoon.

India coach Stephen Constantine made three changes to his starting eleven with Nanda Kumar, Vinit Rai, and Alen Deory being replaced by Nikhil Poojary, Germanpreet Singh, and Manvir Singh.

India had the first look at goal in the 3rd minute after a mistake in the Turkmenistan defence. Over Hitesh Sharma and Manvir Singh, the ball comes to Lallianzuala Chhangte on the left, his cross causes problems for the Turkmen keeper Dovletyar Berdiyev, who can’t keep hold of the ball but no Indian player is there for the rebound.

In the seventh minute a Germanpreet Singh shot was saved by the Turkmen keeper Berdiyev as was a Manvir Singh headed only a minute later.

Turkmenistan meanwhile had their first attempt goalwards in the 11th minute with an acrobatic long range bicycle kick from Yhlas Saparmammedov, which was no problem for Vishal Kaith.

Turkmenistan got a free-kick in the 13th minute after a foul from Davinder Singh. The resultant free was taken by Hoshgeldi Hojovov, and the swerving ball goes right past keeper Vishal Kaith into the net. India are again down 0-1 in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers.

Then it was striker Hitesh Sharma with two attempts on goal, but again on both occasions Turkmen keeper Berdiyev was there to deny the Mumbai teenager.

Thereafter things cooled down with most of the game played in midfield as Turkmenistan took a wait and watch approach, while India couldn’t really find the gaps.

That changed in the 41st minute as Turkmenistan in build-up made a mistake which India this time punished as Nikhil Poojary send the ball forward for Manvir Singh, who beat a defender and the keeper to equalise and finally score India’s first goal of the competition.

At the half time mark following a corner a Sarthak Golui long ranger was pushed over the crossbar by the Turkmen keeper Berdiyev, but the resultant corner was not given by the weak South Korean referee. At the break it was 1-1 between India and Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan had the first big chance of the second session in the 58th minute but Vishal Kaith denied Resul Hojayev a goal after a beautiful build-up. Only five minutes later the goalscorer Hoshgeldi Hojovov again got a free-kick on the left but this time his shot went wide.

India’s first attempt after the break came off the goalscorer Manvir Singh, who received the ball from Hitesh Sharma but his shot was blocked by Turkmen keeper Berdiyev.

Just after coming on for Hitesh Sharma, Alen Deory gets into the action. He first forces a corner, get a touch to the corner but the ball goes wide off a deflection and then in the 72nd minute he gives India the lead off an Anirudh Thapa pass as the strong Turkmen keeper Berdiyev allows the ball to slip past his hands.

In the 75th minute India have a free kick, taken by Jerry Lalrinzuala there is an intensional handball by Azadi Annadurdyyev and the referee points to the dreaded spot. It is Jerry who takes the penalty, sends keeper Berdiyev the wrong way and gives India a surprise 3-1 lead.

Two goals in quick succession changed the whole completion of the game, India were suddenly self assured while Turkmenistan became desperate and made numerous needless fouls or attempts which the referee saw and punished.

Turkmenistan started to play football again late as India keeper Vishal Kaith made a brilliant save in injury time to deny Bayramgeldi Nurlyyev’s long ranger a chance to reduce the deficit.

India end their campaign at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers in the Qatari capital Doha with a 3-1 win over Turkmenistan to finish the group as third placed and are eliminated at the qualifiers stage.

INDIA U-22: 1-Vishal Kaith – 22-Davinder Singh, 4-Salam Ranjan Singh [C], 21-Sarthak Golui, 18-Jerry Lalrinzuala – 7-Nikhil Poojary, 19-Anirudh Thapa (90′ 20-Khumukcham Robinson Singh), 6-Germanpreet Singh, 14-Lallianzuala Chhangte (80′ 15-Nandha Kumar) – 11-Hitesh Sharma (68′ 12-Alen Deory), 9-Manvir Singh

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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One comment

  1. Great job Indian boys ! It feels so bad when you realize that this Turkmenistan team had drawn against Syria.
    Hope , AIFF and our coach would now be more serious about practice matches for our senior men and boys.

    There is a remarkable steady improvement in this team over the last 5 matches ( 2 practice matches + 3 AFC matches ). If only our coach had thought wisely to expose these boys to 6-7 practice matches against quality opponents !

    Bad luck and avoidable crime !
    Thanks again to our boys !