After the morale-boosting 2-0 win against Bangladesh, team India faced Afghanistan but unfortunately failed to score. Despite failing to score, the match ended 1-1 with an own goal by Afghanistan.
The game was competitive and full of amazing moments. The first half was a treat to watch for fans with end-to-end football. It’s a shame that India failed to score but at the end of the day, India managed to qualify for the next round of the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
However, India ended their World Cup qualifying campaign on a high note against Afghanistan after they managed to secure the third spot in their group. Which will take them directly to the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers.
India 1-1 Afghanistan: Match Analysis
The match started with a lot of energy being channelized from both sides. Afghanistan dominated the first five minutes of the game where they took all the possession, but India took the ball after that. India also created more chances in the first 20 minutes of the match. India were superior in corner count as well.
The major chance comes in the 24th minute, when Ashique drills a low cross for Sunil, but Afghani defenders parry it on time. In the 34th minute, Afghanistan gets their first proper chance after defending the corner. But Indian defenders came back in time to avert the danger. Right after the drinks break Afghanistan looks more focused and winning the ball more quickly. Testing Indian teams backline much often.
Match tied at the break with 0-0 scoreline. There has been end to end football by both the teams, however India has been more effective in terms of creating chances. But failed to create anything out of it. On the other hand Afghanistan have slowly grown into the match and have tested India’s defense in the later part of first half.
The second-half kicks off and both the teams look vibrant. India again going forward with Ashique and Chhetri but missing the final execution. In the 54th minute Brandon plays a delightful ball hoping to find the late run from Glan Martins but he is unable to receive the ball. And it goes out of play. In the 57th minute Gurpreet stops the volley from Obid by catching it at first attempt.
Stimac makes his first change of the match at 63 minutes by bringing Lalengmawia to the pitch in place of Brandon. Omid continues to test India’s defense as the match goes on. shoots the ball after getting away from Subhasish but fails to keep it on target. Finally India manages to take the lead after Afghanistan’s goalkeeper does a howler and puts the ball inside his own net.
But in the 85th minute Zamani equalizes after curling the ball inside India’s goal. And score a beautiful goal for the team. Match ends after a few more minutes of football, and both the teams share 1 point each. However, the result goes in India’s favor and they manage to finish at the 3rd position of the group.
Brandon Fernandes: After his brilliance against Bangladesh, Stimac gave him a chance to start. And he delivered well in this match also. Brandon made inch perfect crosses and pinpoint corners., which kept Afghanistan under constant threat.
Glan Martins: Glan has been a great addition to the team since his debut. Dispossessed Afghani midfielders throughout the game. breaking their counters and recovering the ball quickly. However, he is still lacking the technical abilities.
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