14.01.2019 (GR-A) : INDIA 0-1 BAHRAIN. (FT..)
IND : Gurpreet, Pritam, Anas, Sandesh, Subhasish, Pronoy, Rowllin, Udanta, Ashique, Holicharan, Sunil
BAH Alawi, Alhayam, Saeed, Alshamsan, Alsafi, Madan, Juma, Alromahi, Isa, Alaswad, Abdulrahman

FULL TIME Late penalty goal of Bahrain knocked out India from AFC Asian Cup.
90'+1':GOALLLL Rasheed scored from spot kick.
90':4 minutes of added time.
89':Penalty to Bahrain. Bad tackle of Pronay in box.
86':Chance to Rowllin but his shot went wide.
83':Bahrain pressing high so far in the half. Gurpreet and Pritam made fine save.
78':Substitution for India: Anirudh Thapa in place of Holicharan.
78':Gurpreet made another good save.
74':Shot went wide from free kick, corner to Bahrain. But ball cleared from free kick.
73':Nervous moment for India as Gurpreet collect a back pass. Indirect free kick to Bahrain.
70':Bahrain's corner, header deflected from back post. Score remains still goalless.
64':Sunil's free kick, went wide.
63':Counter attack of India through Udanta. Yellow Card to Alshamsan. Free kick to India.
62':Rashed's free kick, straight to Gurpreet's hand.
59':Nearly a chance to Bahrain, but good trap by Sandesh.
53':Opportunity to Jeje for a header from free kick. But ball went over him.
50':Udanta's cross from right flank, went over.
46':Substitution for India: Jeje replaced Ashique.
46':Second half resumed.
Score line remains goalless at the end of first half between India and Bahrain.
45': 2 minutes of added time.
36':Sandesh's free kick, chance to Sunil, but he committed foul.
27':Chance to India through Sunil, but brilliant block in Bahrain defence to deny once again.
25':Rowllin's free kick, went straight to keeper Alawi's hand.
24':Madan committed foul against Subhasish. Free kick to India.
22':Rowllin's corner, Sandesh committed foul.
21':Holicharan's shot, deflected and went wide. Corner to India
20':Long shot of Gurpreet, nearly finds Sunil in box, but it is too heavy for him.
12':Pritam's cross, Ashique's header cleared by Alawi.
10':Bahrain pressing high, but two of their moves ruled out due to OFFSIDE.
3':Substitution for India: Salam Ranjan Singh replaced Anas.
2':Anas looked injured, will be replaced soon. 0':Kick off.

10.01.2019: INDIA 0-2 UAE (FT.)
UAE : Mabkhout - 42', 87'.


IND : Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK); Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose; Udanta Singh (79’ – Jackichand Singh), Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa (70’ – Rowllin Borges), Halicharan Narzary (45’ – Jeje Lalpekhlua), Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri (C).

UAE : Khalid, Alihassan, Khalifa, Amer, Aliahmed, Al Ahababi, Khamis, Ismail, Alihasan, Md. Ismaile, Khalean.

AIFF PRESS RELEASE : Aiming for qualification from the group stages, the Indian National Team ended up on the losing side going down 0-2 to hosts United Arab Emirates in their second Group stage match of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Blue Tigers next play Bahrain in their last match on January 14. India are presently on three points from 2 matches, the same as Thailand, with UAE currently topping the group with 4 points from 2 matches.

It was a day when the Indians hit the post twice in the second half and muffed two in the first-half. Alhamsi’s 40th-minute strike much against the run of play, and then Ali Mabkhout's 80th-minute goal played villain on a night where the Blue Tigers gave the hosts the scare of their lives from the first minute itself. It just seemed like fate did not allow India to score.

In the first half, India could have almost sealed it. The Blue Tigers started with an attacking intensity, and although lacked possession, chances came in bright and plenty. India could have surged into the lead as early as the 8th minute when Sandesh Jhingan got a free-header off a corner kick but headed it wide. Three minutes later, the Arab custodian Khalid Bilal pulled out a world class save to break Indian hearts and deny Ashique Kuruniyan’s shot from close range after Sunil Chhetri had put him through.

If that wasn’t enough of a goal scoring chance, skipper Chhetri was handed a golden opportunity in the 23rd minute. Chhetri was found in the box by Anirudh Thapa but his header went straight to the rival Goalkeeper. Had India taken these chances, the Blue Tigers would have been up 3-0 in less than thirty minutes -- such was the intensity of their counter-attacks which was promoted through the defensive solidity at the back.

With India unable to take their chances, UAE scored against the run of play in the 40th minute. Khalfan Alhamsi took advantage of a slight miscommunication in the Indian defence and found the back of the net through a chip from a tight angle. India had another chance to open their goalscoring tally after the UAE defence fluffed a routine clearance providing Sunil Chhetri with a tight angle to score. Chhetri’s placement went inches past the goal as India failed to capitalize and went trailing into the breather.

Changing over, the chances kept coming for India. In the 53rd minute, Jeje Lalpekhlua, who was brought on as a substitute for Halicharan Narzay, tried to slyly chip past the goalkeeper from range after a failed clearance fell to his chest. His shot, however, went past the goal and the UAE goalkeeper. In the 55th minute, the Blue Tigers rattled the crossbar after Udanta Singh’s shot kissed the bar and went away, following a one-two with Sunil Chhetri inside the box.

In the 73rd minute, however, UAE skipper’s Alhammadi’s shot rattled the left post. But they had the last laugh when in the 88th minute, Ali Mabkhout breached India's defence and found the back of the net to take it beyond India’s reach. A desperate India went all out and UAE had another close shave when Sandesh Jhingan’s header off a Rowllin Borges’ free-kick bounced back off the bar.

06.01.2019: INDIA 4-1 THAILAND (FT.)
INDIA : Sunil Chhetri 26'(P), 47', Anirudh Thapa 68', Jeje 81'
THAILAND : T Dangda 33'


INDIA : Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK) (C); Subhashish Bose, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathokida, Pritam Kotal; Ashique Kuruniyan (78’- Jeje Lalpekhlua), Pronay Halder (87’ – Germanpreet Singh), Anirudh Thapa (78’ – Rowllin Borges), Udanta Singh, Halicharan Narzary, Sunil Chhetri.

AIFF PRESS RELEASE : Back in the AFC Asian Cup after an eight-year wait, the Blue Tigers kicked-off their campaign in Asia’ elite footballing tournament in style with a 4-1 win over Thailand. A brace from talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri and a goal each from Anirudh Thapa and a sublime finish by Jeje Lalpekhlua rounded India’s first victory in the Asian Cup since 1964.

The superb performance in the second half sealed it for India. Some tacky play in the attacking third, non-stop pressing and some no-nonsense defending stayed the highlights. With the pairing of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas commanding the backline, the Blue Tigers' defensive compactness in the early minutes proved to be stubborn.

India closed down quicker in the midfield, not allowing their players time on the ball. It only provided the time for the likes of Ashique Kuruniyan and Anirudh Thapa to dictate play in an attacking stance. And although Thailand dominated possession, India had the better of the chances and showed bright signs around the opponent’s 18-yard box.


Ashique Kuruniyan’s pace and tackiness down the left wing gave India an opportunity to score as early as the 3rd minute, but his cross, flashed in front of goal, with no Indian bodies able to make contact. India surged into the lead in the 27th minute. A quick throw-in by Sunil Chhetri on the left flank released Ashique on the flanks and the latter burst through the Thai defence to earn a penalty kick, courtesy a handball by Thailand’s’ Theerathon. Chhetri, as composed as ever, converted from the spot.

But the Tigers could not hold to the lead for long. In the 33rd minute, Thailand equalized after Teerasil Dangda’s header crashed into the Indian net from a free-kick. Changing over, India regained their lead, a brilliant strike from Chhetri doing the trick for them. Chhetri banged it in from the top box off an Ashique back-heel after Udanta Singh’s run had done the damage.

Chhetri almost scored his hat-trick in the 63rd minute when Thailand’s goalkeeper Bootprom muffed a cross from Udanta, only an onrushing Chhetri’s effort was saved for a corner. By then it was all India in the midfield. The combination for the third one in the 68th minute was a marvel to watch. Following an exquisite defence-splitting pass from Chhetri, Udanta teed-off Anirudh Thapa in the box for the latter to chip into the net over two helpless Thai defenders and the goalkeeper.

Substitute Jeje’s strike in the 80th minute sealed the fate for India. He received it from Halicharan on the top of the box, turned in a flash and placed it with the edge of his boot. India next play face hosts UAE in their second match of the tournament on January 10.