Asian Cup 2019: India vs Bahrain - 5 Hits and Flops as Blue Tigers crash out
Bahrain pipped India 1-0 at the dying embers of the game to send them home from the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The middle-eastern side went with an attacking mindset from the opening whistle itself and finally got their winner through a spot-kick in the first minute of added time.
India produced a commendable performance against Thailand and UAE earlier in the tournament. However, against Bahrain, they weren't even a shadow of themselves.
From the coach's tactics to that of the starting eleven, nothing went in favour of the Blue Tigers and, they deservedly lost the match. The coach expectedly stepped down at the end of the match.
However, some Indian players were the shining light in the dark cloud whereas others' inclusion in the match posed a big question mark. Here are the hits and flops from the India vs Bahrain encounter.
#5 Hit - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
If a side parks the bus and shoots aimless long balls on the counter, the goalkeeper is expected to face a barrage of shots. Against Bahrain, the story was the same as the Gulf side had 22 shots, 12 of which were from inside the box.
Although only six of them were on target, all of those could have bulged the net if it weren't for Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's positioning and reflexes.
The Bengaluru FC player made six saves for India, which included a 61st minute acrobatic save from a long-range Alaswad effort and a punch in the 85th minute from a corner kick which otherwise would have been gone in.
All his hard work was undone by Pronay Halder in the 90th minute when he clipped Alshamsan's legs inside the penalty box to award Bahrain a penalty. Gurpreet isn't one of the best goalkeepers in India when it comes to saving penalties. It was evident when he succumbed to Jamal Rasheed's well-taken spot kick.
His long ball towards Udanta Singh and Sunil Chhetri didn't work either as the Bahraini defenders read the danger and initiated their attack quickly. Despite India's loss, Gurpreet can hold his head high as he gave a brilliant account of himself.