The Indian national football team has been prone to conceding second-half goals for a long time. Just when it seems that the team has accomplished their mission, a momentary lapse in concentration in the second half hampers their ambitions.
One doesn't have to turn the pages of Indian football's history books to recall the last time the Indian football team suffered misery in the dying embers of the match. India needed just a draw against Bahrain in the last group stage match of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup to qualify for the Round of 16. However, their dreams got shattered right in the 91st minute.
The Blue Tigers and Colts endured similar agonizing fates in the past, including one in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Without any further ado, here are the 5 most heartbreaking second-half losses in the Indian football history.
#5 1982 Asian Games Quarter Finals - India 0-1 Saudi Arabia (Ahmed Bayazid 89')
The Indian team was marred in controversy before the 1982 Asian Games started as several players decided not to play for the nation and represent their club in club competitions instead.
Field Marshal Maneckshaw bailed India in the last minute, negotiating a deal between the players and the All India Football Federation, wherein they would get 2000 per month while they were not on duty with the club.
India started the tournament with a bang by defeating Bangladesh 2-0 and Malaysia 1-0 in the group stages. They held mighty China in the next match with goals from Shabbir Ali and Karthick Seth aiding in India's 2-2 draw.
In the quarterfinals, they had the simple task of overcoming Saudi Arabia, who were only making their second appearance in the continental extravaganza. The Middle-Eastern side managed to keep the Indian strikers in the bay and, Ahmed Bayazid dealt the deathblow in the 89th minute in front of a packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
If India had won the encounter, they would have been automatically awarded the bronze medal as the other bronze-medal playoff team North Korea were disqualified from the event.