The India U-23 national team took on the Pakistan U-23 national team in the second and final matches of the 2014 Indo-Pak Series at the Bangalore Football Stadium today.
India coach Wim Koevermans made two changes to the last match against Pakistan on Sunday, as Milan Singh replaced Pronoy Halder and Haokip Thonhkosiem started in place of suspended Robin Singh.
Pakistan took the lead in the 38th minute when captain Kaleemullah put a curling freekick past India keeper Amrinder Singh into the top corner. The visiting neighbours maintained the lead despite increasing pressure by the Indian team in the second half.
Pakistan increased their lead moment before the final whistle as Saddam Hussain took advantage of a sloppy defending by the Indian defence and slotted home the second goal of the match to hand Pakistan a 2-0 win against the rivals.
Both sides were able to win one match each in the two-match Indo-Pak Series held at Bangalore.
Please scroll down for the AIFF Match Report.
at Bangalore Football Stadium, Bangalore, India
INDIA U-23 0-2 PAKISTAN U-23
0-1 Kaleemullah (38th)
0-2 Saddam Hussain (89′)
16 Amrinder Singh – 2 Pritam Kotal, 29 Joyner Lourenco, 4 Sandesh Jhingan, 5 Narayan Das – 7 Milan Singh (77′ 12 Dhanpal Ganesh), 20 Lalrindika Ralte (46′ 6 Siam Hangal) – 10 Francis Fernandes (47′ 18 Seiminlen Doungel) – 11 Sunil Chhetri [C], 30 Mandar Rao Desai (69′ Clifton Dias) – 19 Haokip Thonhkosiem
8 Alwyn George, 13 Salam Rajan Singh, 14 Rowlin Borges, 21 Pronoy Halder, 23 Shankar Sampingiraj, Ravi Kumar, Kamaljit Singh, Keenan Almeida, Alesh Sawant
22 Muzammil Hussain – 23 Faisal Iqbal (14′ 15 Mohsin Ali), 26 Mansoor Khan (78′ 12 Mohammad Zeeshan), 3 Mohammad Ahmed, 4 Mohammad Bilal – 17 Saddam Hussain, 8 Mehmood Khan (77′ 16 Mohammad Salman), 13 Ahsanullah, 7 Bilawal ur Rehman (26′ 14 Sher Mohammad Baloch), 11 Sher Ali (47′ 6 Mohammad Riaz) – 10 Kaleemullah [C]
1 Saqib Hanif, 5 Naveed Ahmed, 9 Abdul Salam, Mohammad Sohail, Amjad Hussain, Ehsanullah, Mohammad Adil
Rahul Eric D’sa (India)
Goutam Kar (India)
36′ Lalrindika Ralte (India)
61′ Mohammad Riaz (Pakistan)
81′ Mohammad Zeeshan (Pakistan)
83′ Sher Mohammad Baloch (Pakistan)
AIFF Match Report
Weekdays? What are they? Does Bangalore have any? Not at least, as far as Football is concerned. Contrary to general perception, fans from the Garden City flocked to Bangalore Football Stadium for the second match of the Friendly Series against Pakistan.
The Crowd were treated to two goals in each half, but it came from rival Colours. An impressive India U-23 squad presently preparing for the forthcoming Asian Games in Incheon since July 1 surrendered meekly to Pakistan U-23 on Wednesday. Pakistan skipper Kaleemullah scored a direct free-kick in the 38th minute while the second was added by Man of the Match Saddam Hussain in the 90th minute.
India did have their chances in the first-half but a Team will always go back punished if chances are not converted when you have them. And in International Football, you don’t get them aplenty.
In the first half, inspirational Captain Sunil Chhetri was omnipresent. He was always there for support in the midfield, holding on to the ball that extra moment for his Teammates to recover and get into shape.
On two Occasions in the first half, he was the man who made the difference though it didn’t break the deadlock.
In the first instance, Chhetri, turned 360 degrees on to his left and as his marker slipped, his dipping long-ranger was fisted over by acrobatic Pakistan Goalkeeper Muzammil Hussain.
If that was the attempt, he turned provider for debutant Haokip Thonhkosiem in the 37th minute. He twirled in between his Sher Mumammad and Muhammad Bilal and set it up for Haokip. All in the clear, Haokip entered the box but his attempt was saved by Hussian. But even off the rebound, Francis Fernandes was unable to finish it off.
It was miss to repent as off the very next attack, Pakistan took the lead. Lalrindika Ralte, who with Milan Singh was regulating the midfield till then, brought down rival Captain Kaleemullah outside the box; and off the resultant free-kick, Kaleemullah bent it past Indian Goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
Changing over, India looked ordinary. Despite trailing by a goal, there wasn’t any momentum nor urgency as Pakistan sealed the fate in the 90th minute through Saddam. In fact, had Saddam not muffed up a similar opportunity in the 80th minute where he failed to slot it past Amrinder, the scoreline would been more humiliating.
The buildup which stays the hallmark in the practice sessions was nowhere to be seen. There wasn’t much thrust, leave aside chances. The surrender was just meek. Hardly was a ball won in the midfield and a series of miss passes made it difficult to build an attack and restore parity. The performance was below par, lacklustre and disappointing.
National Coach Wim Koevermans did try a number of substitutions in the second half but it didn’t yield any result.