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AFC Asian Cup 2019, India 0-2 UAE: 5 Talking Points

FEATURED WRITER
Top 5 / Top 10
5.49K   //    10 Jan 2019, 23:57 IST

Khalfan Mubarak gave the UAE the lead against the run of play
Khalfan Mubarak gave the UAE the lead against the run of play

An unfortunate India went down 2-0 to the hosts United Arab Emirates in their second group game of the AFC Asian Cup 2019.

India managed to fashion a good number of chances for themselves, but it was a resilient performance from the hosts which put them through.

Goals from Khalfan Mubarak and Ali Mabkhout were enough for the UAE, on a night when coach Stephen Constantine could not have asked for anything more from his charges, in terms of effort.

Here's the biggest points of discussion from the game.


#5 On the big stage, one mistake will cost you

The story of the first half for India was a story of missed opportunities, but the bigger story was that of one mistake at the back. A hopeful punt upfield from Khamis Ismaeel was only headed for Anas Edathodika to clear his lines easily.

But the Kerala man hesitated and that was enough for Ali Mabkhout to pounce on his mistake, and then set up Khalfan Mubarak, whose superb finish gave the UAE the lead against the run of play.

That is huge learning for India. On the biggest stage of football in this continent, you cannot afford to make schoolboy errors and get away with it against oppositions of this quality.

But, really, what was that error from Anas? They say that your big players need to be the ones taking responsibility on big nights. With the pitch as slippery as it was, the first cardinal sin was to let the ball bounce.

Anas is also not the quickest of feet, so once he had let the ball bounce and the ball had made its way a distance ahead of him, Mabkhout was always going to be favourite to pounce ahead of the centre-back.

For India though, this is a learning curve, and they will learn from this. They would now know, though, that they cannot afford any such mistakes in their last group game, on Monday, against Bahrain.

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FEATURED WRITER
Bengaluru-based Indian Football aficionado.
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