FIFA World Cup qualifier: Adil Khan helps India eke out 1-1 draw against Bangladesh
India center-back Adil Khan equalised late in the game to draw the home side level
Kolkata: India played a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers at Salt Lake Stadium here on Tuesday. Saad Uddin had put Bangladesh in front in the first half, but India center-back Adil Khan equalised late in the game to draw the home side level. The Blue Tigers went chasing the three points from the very start, as Sunil Chhetri had an early shot on goal saved by Bangladesh goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana.
Ten minutes into the game, India had their golden chance as Mandar Rao Dessai floated a ball towards the far post, where an airborne Rahul Bheke knocked it back, but there was nobody present to capitalise on the chance, as the Bangladesh defence cleared their lines.
Bheke had yet another chance a few minutes later when he won a free header from a corner. However, his header flew over the bar. With around 10 minutes of regulation time to go in the first half, Manvir Singh hit the target, as he cheekily back-headed, but a fully-stretched Ashraful managed to tip it over the bar. As we moved closer to the half-time break, Uddin managed to get on to the end of a set-piece from the left flank, past an outstretched Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, to put Bangladesh in the lead.
India came out with more conviction in the second half, but Bangladesh kept trying their luck on the break, as Ziban broke free, but Sandhu rushed out of his line to make a last-ditch save. As we inched closer to the hour mark, Anas Edathodika rose above his marker to power his header off an Anirudh Thapa corner, but Mohammad Ibrahim leaped high to head it off the line.
Soon after, Sunil Chhetri played Udanta through on the right, as the winger out-paced his marker and crossed it into the box, but there was nobody present to connect with the ball that flew across the face of the goal. India head coach Igor Stimac rolled the dice in the second half, bringing on playmaker Brandon Fernandes in place of Mandar Rao Dessai, while winger Lallianzuala Chhangte came on for center-back Anas Edathodika.
With less than two minutes of regulation time left, it was Adil Khan, who came up with the equaliser, as he glanced his header past the near post, and into the back of the net. India gave it an almighty effort in the closing stages of the match. Four minutes into injury time, Sunil Chhetri brought down an aerial ball for an unmarked Manvir Singh, who volleyed it wide.
Both the teams ended the day with a point apiece, as India remain on the fourth spot with two points in group E of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers.
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