North Korea Ease Past The Blue Tigers
India ended their 2012 AFC Challenge Cup campaign on a disappointing note as DPR Korea scored 4 goals without any resistance from the Blue Tigers.
The young Indian side made a few changes and included the likes of Nirmal Chettri and Subhashish Roy Chowdhury in the starting line up. The Indian midfield looked more organized than the previous game at start but the pace of the North Korean wingers left them with no choice but to give in.
The team from the far east broke the dead lock on the 3rd minute when the Indian defense failed to deal with the rebound from a set piece. This has been the weakness of the Indian back line where they have constantly failed to deal with the rebounds from lofted crosses and free kicks and throw-ins.
Sushil Kumar failed to mark Jon Kwang Ik that led Jon Kwang latch on to a poorly cleared freekick from the wing and place it to the bottom left corner of Subhasish Roychowdhury.
Francis Fernandez was introduced when Vashum was carried off after colliding with the North Korean winger. The knock left Vashum with a loose knee.
On the 34th minute R. Chol Myong’s shot from an acute angle from the right was too hot to handle for the Indian Goalkeeper, who spilt the ball into the feet of the anticapting striker- Ri Kwang Hyok. The striker made no mistake in side footing it into an unguarded net.
The best moment for the Blue Tigers came in the 38th minute when an inch perfect long ball from Francis was met by Sunil Chettri, who left the North Korean captain clueless with a sharp turn towards the goal. His over hit left foot volley, however, failed to worry the Korean goal keeper as the ball blazed over into the empty stands.
The Indian captain was taken off on the 68th minute when he twisted his ankle.
The second half brought no hopes for India and a dominant North Korea took the game away in the 59th minute when Nabi gave the ball away inside the box. The uncharacteristic error from the vice captain let the team down as Pak Nam Chol embarrased the Indian goalkeeper by dribbling the ball into the net after Subashish lost his footing.
The Chollima added a 4th in the 70th minute with a far post header from Ri Chol Myong.
The Indian Coach, Savio Medeira stirred up a controversy, after the game, when he said that some of the players lacked the killer instinct because they were too cautious to pick up injuries which might effect their contracts with the clubs. He also mentioned that the seniors did not take responsibilities as they did under Bob Houghton’s reign as a manager.
Whatever it may be, the Indian team will return home without scoring a single goal and conceding 8 goals in 3 games. One wonders if it would have been the same if Bob Houghton had not been sacked.
Playing XI: Subhasis Roychowdhury; Nirmal Chhetri, Gourmangi Singh, Raju Gaikwad, Syed Rahim Nabi; Anthony Pereira, Rocus Lamare, Jewel Raja(booked on 12th minute, subbed in the 60th minute for Lenny) Reisangmi Vashum(taken off due to injury on the 24th minute, Francis ON); Sunil Chhetri (C) (carried off and subbed in the 66th minute, Sabeeth ON), Sushil Singh.
Playing XI: R. Myong Guk,P. Nam Chol, R.Kwang Chon, R. Chol Myong, J. IL Gwan, J kwa ng ik, J myong il, nam chol,j kuk chol, r kwang hyok, j song hyok.