Dominating Indian U-23 squad were defeated by the Qatar U-23 at Doha yesterday in the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers.
India pressed high from the kick-off, just as the game against Syria U-23. Qatar had most of the ball possession, but were struggling to get through the defense line and India’s high pressing game. This eventually ended the first half in a goalless draw.
India dominated the second half and shook the hosts with an attempt on goal from a long range just in end of 46th min. Nandha Kumar tried his luck from a range and just missed the target. Soon, Davinder’s wonderful cross in from the right wing into the box looked dangerous, but none of his teammates could reach out for the ball to direct in.
Couple of minutes later, Vishal Kaith’s miss timed attempt to grab the long ball, gave hosts the lead. Vishal came out of the goal line in attempt to intercept the long ball. Ball pops out of his hands and falls on to Almoez Ali who put his side on the lead.
Manvir Singh, coming in for Alen Doery, made a quick impact on the game with his physical presence and strategy. Lallainzuala Changte crossed in looking for Singh, who perfectly directed the cross on target but hitting the post and keeping the scoreline unchanged. Two minutes later it was India’s central defender Sarthak Golui who came close with the equalizer. His attempted header safely landed in the hands of the host’s goalkeeper making no damage.
India played all out and kept on attacking Qatar’s goal. Salam Ranjan missed to connect a lovely curling free-kick by Anirudh Thapa from distance. In 93rd min, Thapa again tried a shot on goal, but it was over the post.
With these actions, score remained 1-0 in favor of Qatar.
Final score : Qatar U-23 1-0 India U-23
India will play its last match of this tournament against Turkmenistan on July 23rd.