AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri and Sahal Abdul Samad Give India Dramatic 2-1 Win over Afghanistan


After six minutes of insanity, Sunil Chhetri and Sahal Abdul Samad turned heroes as India defeated Afghanistan 2-1in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers on the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday.

From drab monotony of the passing within the midfield, as the sport seemed sure for a goalless draw, a second of magic from Chhetri, his 83rd for the nation, and an inspiring run from Ashique Kuruniyan that led to Sahal smashing the ball behind the online modified the completion of the sport.

The match received off to a frantic begin with both crew desirous to not let the opposition settle with the ball in mid-field. Excessive urgent with the phrase go began to take a toll on the gamers fairly quickly.

Jeakson Singh, who was one of many modifications from the earlier recreation, despatched out a beautiful ball out to the left flank Within the sixth minute to launch Manvir Singh. The left ahead reduce to lose his marker after which sidestepped one other challenger with relative ease however was introduced down, which the referee deemed to be honest. Afghanistan received on the break however Ahmad Omran Haydary introduced down Sandesh Jhingan illegally to finish the assault.

India vs Afghanistan AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Highlights

By the tenth minute mark, Liston Colaco had been tackled thrice with the referee lastly relenting. He stepped up and took the free-kick from close to the 30-meter mark however his effort blazed harmlessly over the bar.

4 minutes later Ashique Kurunian, who was the opposite new face within the beginning line-up, was let out once more on the left flank by Liston however his low cross into the field was stolen off Sunil Chhetri’s ft.

Within the twenty second minute, Ashique tried to tackle too many gamers close to the left of the centre line however misplaced possession. He tried to cease the counterattack by Farshad Noor, by dragging him right down to the bottom, which the Afghanis didn’t take flippantly and lashed out. A scuffle adopted between the groups because the referee confirmed Farshad a yellow for his response. Such was the depth of the sport that Haroon Amiri had discovered himself with a torn shirt, which had to get replaced.

Roshan, too was his full of life finest one the overlap and received of an excellent strike from a decent angle however his effort was parried out for a nook.

India have been the dominant aspect and rising in confidence because the Afghanistan gamers appeared with palms on their hips.

Liston once more received the ball on the sting of the left flank and reduce inside utilizing his energy and elegance however was pulled again. He instantly rotated to plead for a free-kick, which the referee obliged after some deliberation. Chhetri took cost however his preliminary effort and his follow-up have been blocked as Anwar’s shot was additionally headed over.

From the nook, Afghanistan have been on the break however an excellent last-ditch problem from Jhingan noticed the hazard averted just for the central defender to go down clutching his hamstring. Stimac seemed fearful however his commander on the again was up once more very quickly with half-time following.

Quickly after the break, Manvir cushioned a cross on the far put up that Chhetri tried to latch on however his effort bounced agonisingly huge.

Ahmed Omran Haydary miss-timed his bounce regardless of being free within the field with India’s momentary defensive lapse.

Ashique tried his luck from distance within the 69th minute however his effort went huge. Then simply three minutes later Manvir despatched in a scrumptious cross on the again put up, that Chhetri missed. From the nook, Anwar’s effort flew simply over. The Afghans slipped in an assault of their very own that was saved marvellously by Gurpreet and kicked to relative security.

Within the 78th minute, Brandon missed arguably the best probability of the night time as he received the ball at his ft from a pin-point Ashique cut-back that the mid-fielder blazed over.

Within the 83rd minute, Aakash Mishra stole the ball in his personal half and drove on the Afghanistan defence solely to be tackled however Ashique received it again and ran once more. He was introduced down in a harmful space, because the referee blew his whistle.

Chhetri stepped up with the load of the nation on his shoulders and calmly slotted it residence within the eighty fifth minute as the group burst into cheers of adulation.

The group was surprised into silence minutes later as Zubairr Amiri climbed excessive and thumped his header previous the keeper on the 88th-minute mark.

Sahal Abdul Samad, who got here on for Chhetri moments earlier, despatched the group into giddy insanity with a superbly positioned shot that the keeper missed within the 91st minute to maintain India’s continental dream alive.

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