India hosted Myanmar in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa today (14/11/2017).
Myanmar made their mark on the game with scoring the opener in the opening seconds. A very good cross from the left in India’s box was clinically finished by Myanmar’s jersey number 14 by heading it in and putting his side on lead. Jerry couldn’t mark his man properly which resulted in the first goal for Myanmar. Soon in the second minute, a defensive error from Jighan gave Myanmar another chance to double their lead. But Gurpreet Singh Sandhu came in for India’s rescue. This action was a wake up call for all the Indian players. India started pressing Myanmar very high on the line.
Five minutes into the game, a foul on Udanta gave Jerry a chance to take the free-kick. His free-kick in the Myanmar’s box was deflected and which came to Jighan who shot the ball off target. Myanmar had a good ball position. India would loose the ball immediately after they got the ball in search of a goal.
Couple of good chances came in for India, but Indian boys couldn’t really make something out of it. As the game went on, Myanmar had a good position over the ball and India all the time playing long balls looking for the equalizer.
Finally in the 11th minute, Sunil was brought down in the box and which was spotted by the referee and awarded a penalty to the home side. Sunil very calmly shot it in the left bottom corner, sending the Myanmar’s goalkeeper the opposite side and getting India back in the game.
As both the teams were looking for the possession and goals, Myanmar’s jersey number 10 doubled the lead for his side with a good strike from outside India’s box. Myanmar were ahead again with this goal in the 18th minute. Gurpreet’s stretch couldn’t stop the ball from reaching the back of the net.
India created many chances on the go with Sunil, Udanta, Eugene and other midfielders. But they were denied everytime with their poor shots or passing. Sunil had couple of chances to find second equalizer, but he was unlucky too.
With all the actions, first half ended with 1-2 scoreline favoring the visitors.
India kicked off the second half with a positive start. Jerry in the 49th minute got in a good cross in Myanmar’s box, but it was deflected by their defender and landed straight into the hands of the goalkeeper. This game was full of end to end actions happening all the Goa. Visitors were on the top of their voices as usual with the newly formed group of supporters called ‘Blue Pilgrims’.
In the 55th minute, Germanpreet tried his luck with a shot, but was off target. A counter attack in 57th minute by the Indian side was cut down by Holicharan’s bad cross. Myanmar dominated the second half also with maximum ball position and good passes.
India in search of the equalizer, created a chance for Jeje. In the 68th minute a perfect cross from India’s right flank outside Myanmar’s box found Jeje with a brilliant piece of control on his chest and shooting it in for the home side.
An end to end actions were being witnessed by the spectators. Sunil’s goal in 84th minute was disallowed the referee. A backpass from the Myanmar’s defender to his goalkeeper was collected in hands by the goalkeeper. Referee giving a indirect spot kick to India. Sunil’s Jeje’s strategy, of Jeje just touching the ball and Sunil taking the shot was disallowed as the ball touch by Jeje did move the ball as per he rules. Sunil had placed the ball perfectly in the right top corner.
In the extra time, India had another chance to win the game. A beautiful scoop pass to Sunil inside Myanmar’s box was placed off target by India’s skipper who was under pressure by the goalkeeper.
This was the last action of the night, ending the game in a draw with 2-2 scoreline.
India continue their unbeaten run for the 13 games.