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Played
December 3, 2011 3:00 PM IST
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,New Delhi
 

India 1-1 Afghanistan: Defending Champions Fail To Notch Three Points Against The Stars Of Ariana

The Men in Blue drop two crucial points against the Lions of Khorasan in their opening group A match…

By Rahul Bali

India VS Afganistan 1
Goal.com

Savio Medeira’s side kicked-off their SAFF Championship campaign with a 1-1 draw against Afghanistan at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi on Saturday.

Belal Arezou’s early strike was cancelled out by Sunil Chhetri’s headed goal in a game whether neither side could find the winner.

India started with Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua upfront while Afghanistan too lined up in their familiar 4-4-2 formation.

The Men in Blue were in for some early shock as Balal Arezo slotted the ball home from inside the box with Mahesh Gawli being the guilty party.

Sunil Chhetri had a feeble attempt in the seventh minute before he followed it up with a header to equalize from a Steven Dias flag-kick.

The game was very much played at a decent pace with both the sides looking to attack at every instant. For India, Rocus Lamare initiated several moves while the two wingers of Afghainstan, Mohammad Esrafil and Waheed Ahmad looked dangerous with each run.

Around the half hour mark, Clifford Miranda wasted an opportunity as his effort went way over the bar from a Steven Dias cross.

The Dempo left winger spurned another chance that came his way after he was put through on goal by Climax Lawrence with only the goalkeeper to beat.

India were lucky to survive thanks to Karanjit Singh’s awareness as he came off his line to ward off the impending danger in the form of Balal Arezo. This was after Haroon Fakhrudin, the Afghan skipper, went past at least four Indian shirts to find Arezo whose shot was blocked in time by the Indian custodian.

Before the end of the first half, Steven Dias’ curling cross was intercepted by goalkeeper Hameedullah Yousufzari while at the other end, Karanjit did well to deny Fakhrudin another opportunity after he did well to go past Climax Lawrence.

After the break, India were seen appealing for a alleged hand-ball by Moqadar Faizullah however referee Nagor Amir didn’t pay much heed to it.

In the 56th minute, Chhetri missed a glorious opportunity to put India ahead from a Climax Lawrence cross as he skied the ball from close range.

Clifford Miranda was at it again as he couldn’t control the lob from Chhetri which allowed Moqadar Faizullah to make the clearance.

It was in the 66th minute that Jeje managed to get involved when he got to the end of a Nabi cross only to see his header go wide.

Towards the final stages, Jeje’s shot, after being set-up by Chhetri, from the edge of the box saw goalkeeper Hameedullah Yousufzari dive to his right to make the block.

Karanjit Singh just about saved India from dropping all points as he parried a shot from Sanjar Ahmadi after the Indian defence was torn apart by some slick passing from the Afghans.

India would need to up their performance by a few notches if they hope to make it through to the semi-finals. Afghanistan would take several positives from the match as they defended stoutly and were quite incisive with their passing.

Catch all the latest Live action and match highlights from SAFF Championship here



India

1
Karanjit Singh
Goalkeeper
0.00
25
Syed Rahim Nabi
Defender
0.00
39
0.00
28
Mahesh Gawli
Defender
0.00
16
Samir Naik
Midfielder
0.00
25
Rocus Lamare
Midfielder
0.00
15
Clifford Miranda
Midfielder
88′
0.00
8
Climax Lawrence
Midfielder
0.00
-
Steven Dias
Striker
10′ 66′
0.00
11
Sunil Chhetri
Striker
10′
0.00
12
0.00

Afghanistan

0.00
1
0.00
4
Faisal Safa
Defender
0.00
2
0.00
3
0.00
16
0.00
-
Yusef Mashriqi
Midfielder
69′
0.00
7
0.00
20
Waheed Ahmad
Midfielder
40′ 62′
0.00
2
0.00
10
0.00
43

Substitutes

30
0.00
1
0.00
33
0.00
2
Govin Singh
Defender
0.00
23
Jewel Raja
Midfielder
0.00
23
0.00
20
0.00
17
0.00
16
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
22
Bashir Darman
Goalkeeper
0.00
17
0.00
6
Massod Hashmi
Goalkeeper
72′
0.00
14
Yousef Samy
Defender
0.00
11
Hashmat M.Jan
Midfielder
93′
0.00
13
0.00
19
0.00
-
0.00
5

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
  • Goal
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  • Substitution OUT
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  • Goal.com Rating
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Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ali Ashfaq Ali Ashfaq
Striker
Maldives
10 2
Mohamed Naufer Mohamed Issadeen Mohamed Naufer Mohamed Issadeen
Striker
4 0
Ali Fasir Ali Fasir
Midfielder
New Radiant
3 0
Anil Gurung Anil Gurung
Striker
Nepal
2 0
Passang Tshering Passang Tshering
Midfielder
Bhutan
2 0