Afghanistan vs India: 3 Talking points & tactical analysis | 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
India's quest to find their first victory in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers continued as Igor Stimac's team shared the spoils with Afghanistan at the Central Republican Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The Blue Tigers next travel to Oman to take on the Middle East nation and eye revenge for their loss.
India started the game with a 4-2-3-1 system with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in between the sticks. Pritam Kotal found himself back in the starting line-up at right-back with Mandar Rao Dessai operating on the other flank. Adil Khan and Rahul Bheke played at the heart of the defense.
Brandon Fernandes and Pronay Halder played in defensive midfield and were tasked with converting defence into attacks swiftly. Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh manned the wings, helping Sahal Abdul Samad in the centre of the park. India's captain Sunil Chhetri was once again the lone man forward.
Afghanistan took the lead through Zelfy Nazary just before half-time but India equalized in the dying embers of the game through substitute, Seiminlen Doungel.
The full-time scoreline read 1-1 as India still remained fourth in Group E.
#3 Afghanistan make merry down India's left flank
Afghanistan knew that India had troubles defending through balls in the space between the defenders and tried to exploit the weakness in the first half. Once they found that Adil Khan and Mandar were lacking the requisite understanding, they diverted their attacks to their right flank.
Mandar conceded cheap free-kicks in the dangerous position and even gave away corner-kicks. India were lucky not to concede from those set-pieces but Afghanistan got their goal from their forays on the right flank.
David Najem went all the way up to the byline and whipped a low cross which Nazary made converted confidently. Igor Stimac realized Afghanistan were capitalizing on Mandar's mistake and he took him off.
The Croatian made a bold decision to deploy Ashique Kuruniyan in the left-back position and bringing on Farukh Chaudhary. The substitution worked as the Bengaluru FC winger perfected his defensive duties and made good contributions in attack helping Farukh, who was also menacing after the break.