SAFF Championship 2011: India receives an Anti-Climax from Afghanistan

India 1-1 Afghanistan
India: Sunil Chhetri(10')
Afghanistan: Balal Arezo(5')

If you are a Indian Football Supporter, then the match between Afghanistan would have made you boil. A five times champion team, who were expected to have a cake walk against Afghanistan were shown the real picture of where they actually stand. The result could have been worse if Afghanistan played more clinically.

It all started with a blunder as Mahesh Gawli gifted the goal to Afghanistan in the 5th minute. An equalizer was always on cards for the hot favorites and it did came very shortly as Sunil Chhetri connected a good header from Steven Dias corner in the 10th minute. But what followed after that was a complete nightmare for the defending champions. Afghanistan played as good as India if not better in some moments. Perhaps the main culprit was the Indian midfield who were chasing shadows.

A poor display from the Indian Captain

Savio Medira has a lot to think about
if India  wants to  be the champion
The Indian captain Climax Lawrence hardly put a foot right in the entire match as he was the center of all the miss passes when he was required to be the supply man for the Men in Blues. A captain performing so poorly can never inspire his team to do better. Clifford Miranda on the other hand was looking good with his darting runs down the right hand side of the field, but his finishing was at bay when it required the most. He could have earned himself an assist but he went for a goal from his weaker foot which ended as a feeble shot to the Afghanistan custodian. Sunil Chhetri could have also earned India a lead but he failed to grab a golden opportunity as he volleyed the ball over the goal from handshaking distance in the 55th minute. Indian coach Savio Medeira was not keen to make any substitution despite looking at the below par midfield. Even Jeje was not looking at his best as he failed to create a clear cut opportunity in front of the goal and was not looking threatening at all. In the dying moments India could have easily lost the match if it was not Karanjit Singh who saved Sanjar Ahmadi's shot brilliantly. Scoreline remained 1-1 till the full time whistle. A historic victory for Afghanistan.

Was it a tactical error, overconfidence, poor team selection or strategical blunder by the coach? Whatever it was, it was definitely not to remember. India needs to take their game few notches up else SAFF Championship will be out of their grasp soon specially looking at teams like Nepal. 

India next face Bhutan on Monday, 5th December 2011.  

Other matches result:

Sri Lanka 3-0 Bhutan
Sri Lanka: Mi Mohamed Zain(29'), Nipuna Bandara(35',65')
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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