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Turkmenistan consign a spirited Indian football team to a 2-1 defeat

ANALYST
Modified 08 Oct 2015, 20:56 IST
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India Turkmenistan.jpg
India put in a spirited first half performance (Image source: AIFF)

Goals from Abylow and Amanow on either side of half-time were enough to beat a spirited Indian team. The only goal for India came through Jeje Lalpekhlua who capitalised on some poor work from the Turkmenistan custodian.

A good first half performance from India saw them pepper the Turkmenistan goal with shots almost incessantly till they scored despite going a goal down within the first 10 minutes of the game. The defeat means that India still do not have any points from the four games they played in the World Cup qualifying group so far having only registered defeats in all games so far.

Starting line-ups:

India: Gurpreet, Kotal, Jhingan, Mondal, Das, Fernandes, Lyngdoh, Sehnaj, Robin Singh, Chhetri, Jeje

Turkmenistan: Orazmuhhamedow, Soyunov, Saparov, Amanow, Hojaahmedov, Muhadov, Abylow, Annaorazov, Astanov, Gevorkyan, Atayev

It was a slow start to the game but the away side found their feet first playing at the Sportkompleks Kopet-Dag in Ashgabat. India were on the offensive just minutes after the start, Francis Fernandes going incredibly close with the first effort of the game.

The Blue Tigers would, however, suffer an early setback Abylow scored within the first 10 minutes to give India a mountain to climb. Stephen Constantine’s side seemed to be spurred on by the early goal as they mounted a full frontal assault on the home side’s goal. Some of their best chances coming from set pieces but Jeje particularly missed a good chance from one of them after he was fed in by Fernandes.

India who were looking for their first points in the group looked likely to find some at the rate they were building pressure on the Turkmenistan defence. The Blues found the back of the net late on in the first half when Jeje capitalised on a goalkeeper error to turn the ball into the back of the net and equalise for India.

Despite some late attempts in the first half from both sides, the score would remain 1-1 at half-time.

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The second half was a more tame affair. The chances were few and far between, but Turkmenistan were the more clinical side of the two as they found the back of the net with little more than 20 minutes to go. It was another blow to India as they stared at the fourth consecutive defeat in as many games during their World Cup qualification campaign.

The best chance India had to equalise again was through Robin Singh, the big striker went through on goal but squandered a one-on-one opportunity in the end and India could not mount a comeback as the game drew to an end.

The loss spells extremely bad news for India as they are all but ousted from the group stage of the World Cup Qualifiers. Turkmenistan, on the other hand, will hope that a few surprise results in their favour will end in progress for them.

Published 08 Oct 2015, 20:31 IST
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