Jordan 2-1 India: 5 Talking Points
- In a game where off-the-field issues hindered India's chances, Stephen Constantine men put in a good fight but went down to Jordan.
India put up a spirited performance, overcoming numerous adversities, before going to Jordan by 1-2 margin at the King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman on Saturday.
This was the penultimate match before the all-important AFC Asian Cup for India. They will play Oman next month. But it seemed everything had gone against them before the match. India lost their talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri due to an injury he sustained in an Indian Super League match.
But that was not the only problem for them. Problems started to arise since their departure. Jordan was witnessing heavy rainfall for the p3ast few days and it took many lives as of now. Not only Jordan but their middle-east neighbours were also witnessing flash floods for the past few days.
The speculation was rife that the friendly would get cancelled as seven members of the Indian national football reached Jordan late on Friday after a 32-hour delay at the Kuwait International Airport. These players received their luggage and kits only on Saturday morning, five hours before the scheduled kick-off.
However, in a high-level meeting on Saturday morning, the players were directed to take the field and put up a show no matter what happens thereafter. As a result, the players had to take the field without any practice sessions.
Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who was made captain for the match, saved a penalty from Bani Atiyeh. But the Indian captain quickly turned villain when he made a blunder in the 25th minute to concede a goal, rather uncharacteristically.
Jordan increased their lead in the second half through Ehsan Haddad who got a superb pass from Sameer and scored with his first touch. India continued their attack and Nishu Kumar pulled one back four minutes. India pressed hard but couldn’t find the equaliser.
We now look at the five Talking points from the match:
#5 India didn’t look tired
Constantine made six changes to the side that faced China last month. There was no Sandesh Jhinghan at the heart of the defence. Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh were not even on the bench. Only two players from the bunch of seven – who were stuck at the Kuwait Airport for 32 hours – featured in the match.
Ashique Kuruniyan came in the start of the second half and Sumeet Passi was introduced later on. Coach Stephen Constantine was left with little options even to field eleven players on the pitch. All of them were coming in between a hectic season of Indian Super League. Off the field affairs made their task really difficult.
However, the players didn’t bow down to the adversities they faced before the match. None of them looked tired and tried to give everything on the pitch. India were the attacking side in the second half and that shows how seriously they took the game. It was the lack of experience for which they lost.