Newspaper Round-Up: How Dailies Covered India's Loss to Bahrain, Exit from Asian Cup

India's Sunil Chhetri is dejected after the team's defeat to Bahrain (Image: AIFF Media)
Modified 15 Jan 2019

The Indian national football team went down 1-0 to Bahrain in Sharjah on Monday night and crashed out of the Asian Cup 2019.

Going into the match, India needed just a draw to make the Round of 16. Stephen Constantine, the head coach who stepped down from his position after the defeat, played for a draw and that eventually cost India dear.

Pronay Halder clipped Hamad Mahmood Alshamsan inside the penalty box after a goalline melee in the first minute of injury. Jamed Rashed converted from the spot to break Indian hearts and send Bahrain through.

India dropped to the fourth spot on Group A with 3 points in 3 games. Bahrain surged ahead with 4 points. Thailand, also on 4 points, finished second because of their better head-to-head record against Bahrain. The hosts UAE were the group winners.

India raised the expectations of an entire country with their 4-1 win over Thailand in the opener. They then lost 0-2 to the UAE but the Bahraini game handed them a golden opportunity to make the last-16.

However, India's tactics were pretty poor. The defenders resorted to firing long balls as soon as they won possession in the defensive third. The strikers - Ashique Kuruniyan (and then Jeje Lalpekhlua) and Sunil Chhetri - were unable to break Bahrain on the counter.

Probably, Bahrain coach Miroslav Soukup was aware of Constantine's tactics before the game and got his gameplan spot on. India did not adapt to the situation and tried the same things over and over again - to no avail.

Qualifying to the Round of 16 would have been a gamechanger for Indian football but the Blue Tigers could not cross the final hurdle.

How did India's top newspapers cover the Asian Cup game and India's subsequent exit? Given the match kicked off at 9.30 pm IST, the newspapers only had a limited amount of space dedicated to the game because of their printing deadlines.

Yet, all the dailies had enough on the game and Constantine's resignation.

Here's a selection of all those newspaper clippings:

#1 Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times

A vertical three-column set up was used by the Hindustan Times. To access the article, visit the Hindustan Times epaper website.

#2 New Indian Express

New Indian Express
New Indian Express

The New Indian Express gave a prominent display for India's Asian Cup campaign. Visit their epaper on

#3 Telegraph


One of the most popular newspapers in Kolkata, The Telegraph, had an eight-column spread for the game. Visit the Telegraph epaper website for the full coverage.

#4 Times of India

Times of India
Times of India

The Mumbai edition of the Times of India had this spread for the India v Bahrain match. Visit their epaper by clicking here.

#5 Indian Express

Indian Express
Indian Express

Readers can open the image in a new tab to read the text. Access the full story on

#6 Mumbai Mirror

Mumbai Mirror
Mumbai Mirror

This was Mumbai Mirror's display for the India v Bahrain match. Visit their epaper by clicking here.

#7 Mail Today

Mail Today
Mail Today

Mail Today's Delhi edition had this spread for the Blue Tigers. The article can be read on - Mail Today epaper.

#8 The Hindu

The Hindu
The Hindu

Access the article by clicking here.

Published 15 Jan 2019
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