Eight games before the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Kyrgyzstan, India had found the back of the net in all the games. The last time they didn’t score was 446 days ago against Iran in March, 2016. After the 2-0 win over Nepal in the international friendly preceding this contest, India hit the right notes without the key players. The side was back to full strength for the fixture against Kyrgyzstan and they produced a brilliant result in Bangalore on Tuesday.
The first half witnessed both teams having their little chances in the match. India came close but lacked clinical finishing, just like their opponents who enjoyed most of the possession, won a lot of corners but failed to break the deadlock. The second half too commenced on similar note and both teams continued to press forward in search of the opening goal. The opener came in the 69th minute and it was an absolute beauty by Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri.
Chhetri made a brilliant run, dribbled past the defence and returned it to a waiting Jeje who fed a decent ball for his skipper. Waiting in the area, Chhetri produced a special and put it in to give India 1-0 lead in the contest. It was a special run by the captain and even better response by Jeje who didn’t blow the opportunity away.
In the first half, India were guilty of not converting half-chances and the trend continued in the second half, deep into added time. It was Robin Singh who went one-on-one with the goalie only to hit it way over the cross bar. After Robin, it was Chhetri who, after beating a couple of defenders, went for goal but couldn’t keep the ball down.
The skipper was very frustrated after not converting what could have been the second goal of the night. The result keeps India on top of the Group A standings as they have won both their matches so far. Going forward, the team would like to improve their finishing as they did create a lot of chances against Kyrgyzstan but converted only one.