Kolkata, October 15
A last-gasp Adil Khan header saved the blushes for India, who played their worst game of the campaign, as the home side played out a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in their World Cup qualifying match.
Saad Uddin gave Bangladesh the lead in the 42nd minute and the visitors looked like going back home with all the three points in the Group E match of the qualifying second round match.
Khan, however, ensured that India secured a point from the home match as he rose highest to nod home a Brandon Fernandes corner kick in the 88th minute. A defeat at home would have severely dented India’s hopes of advancing to the next round. India had lost to Oman 1-2 in their opening match before holding Asian champions Qatar to a goalless draw in their previous match.
They now have two points from three matches, while Bangladesh stay at the bottom with one point from three games. Bangladesh were the more organised side as they put up a spirited show against India who were backed by a full-capacity crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium. Captain Sunil Chhetri was not at his best as also goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who had kept the marauding Qataris at bay in a drawn game in Doha.
Bangladesh took the lead when their captain Jamal Bhuyan curled in a freekick from the left to the far post and Sandhu missed the flight completely and Uddin finished it with a diving header.
Ranked 83 places below India, Bangladesh looked more threatening and could have easily doubled the lead in the 54th minute when right winger Mohammad Ibrahim’s shot hit the crosspiece. India woke up from their slumber only late in the second half, creating a flurry of chances but then Bangladesh’s defence gave a good account of themselves with Ibrahim making a goalline clearance from Anas Edathodika’s header.
Stimac rues his players’ inability to score goals
Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac said, “Our scoring incapability was the reason why we didn’t win. We conceded very silly goal. Their goalkeeper was my Man of the Match.” India next take on Afghanistan on November 14. — PTI
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