Davronov Nuriddin and F. Fatkhullo got the goals for the hosts in the first-half in the 12th and 18th minute respectively, with Akhtam Khamrakulov adding a third in the 93rd minute
India’s long win-less streak away from home continued, as they lost 3-0 to Tajikistan, in a International friendly held in Khujand on Wednesday.
Davronov Nuriddin and Fatkhuloev Fatkhullo got the goals for the hosts in the first-half in the 12th and 18th minute respectively, with Akhtam Khamrakulov adding a third in the 93rd minute, as the home side coasted to a victory.
Wim Koevermans gave Arnab Mondal a debut in defense, with Sandip Nandy starting in goal. Sunil Chhetri started upfront with Jewel Raja playing off him.
With the Crown’s backed by a crowd of over 10,000, India started cautiously, as the hosts enjoyed more of the possession. The Tajiks found particular joy down the wings, as they often stretched the play with the help of their wide players, in the first ten minutes.
Tajikistan kept up the pressure, and eventually made it count in the 12th minute, when Fatkhuloev Fatkhullo sped down the left wing, and his low cross into the box was tapped in by Davronov Nuriddin, with Sandip nandy unable to keep the ball from going in.
India had barely recovered from that setback when six minutes later, the Crown’s doubled their lead, from a direct free-kick by Fatkhullo. The hosts had won the free-kick after Nirmal Chettri had bought down Vasiev Dilshod, at the edge of the box, after the attacking midfielder had gone past the defender.
The Blue Tigers finally registered a shot on goal in the 24th minute, when Clifford Miranda was at the end of a long throw by Raju Gaikwad. The winger’s left footed effort though, was punched away by the rival goalkeeper Tuychiev Alisher.
With a two goal advantage, the home side took their foot off the pedal slightly, allowing India to enjoy some possession, but they were not able to make anything positive out of it.
Infact Farhad Tohirov almost got a third, but his effort hit the post, with Nandy beaten all ends up. Davron Ergashev was the next player to come close to a goal, as his long range effort went just over the bar.
Sandip Nandy then was subbed off in favour of Karanjit Singh, after he pulled a muscle trying to save an effort by Nuriddin.
Eventually the two teams went into half-time with Tajikistan leading 2-0, and with India having a mountain to climb, if they were to get back into the game.
The Blue Tigers turned to Izumi Arata and Lalrindika Ralte for inspiration at half-time, with the duo replacing Lenny Fernandes and Jewel Raja in the playing eleven.
It was Miranda though, who came closest to halving the deficit, when his shot from distance went just over the bar.
Shylo Malswamtluanga and Dawson Fernandes then came on to make their debut for the national team, replacing Miranda and Sunil Chhetri respectively.
Dawson could have almost scored with his first touch but rival goalkepeer Alisher anticipated Arata’s through pass that split a second faster than the debutant. The very next moment, Alisher denied Mehtab in the same manner.
The hosts on the other hand were content in keeping the possession with them, looking to pass the ball around in midfield and defense.
In a bid to strike-back, Wim Koevermans even threw in Robin Singh in-place of Mehtab Hussain, hoping that the team shall profit from his physical presence in the box.
However it was the Tajiks who added to their tally, with Akhtam Khamrakulov making it 3-0 in the 93rd minute.
The Crown’s thus registered an easy 3-0 win, leaving Wim Koevermans with plenty to ponder over, in the build-up to the SAFF Championship.
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