On Sunday, India will face Kyrgyzstan in a do-or-die final league encounter of the AFC U-23 Asia Cup qualifiers, to qualify for the continental youth championship’s tournament proper. India will have to not only win their match but also pray that the other game in Group E goes their way.
The Indians defeated Oman 2-1 but had previously lost to the UAE hosts. At this time, their chances of qualifying for the main stage of the AFC Asian Cup for U23s appear slim. In the end, India U23 wins 4-2 in a penalty shootout.
India vs Kyrgyzstan: Before the Match
India has failed to qualify for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup in their last four attempts. This time, though, they have a legitimate chance to compete in the competition. India must face Kyrgyzstan and hope to be among the four best second-placed teams in the qualifications after UAE defeated Oman in their final game of Group E.
If India draws against Kyrgyzstan, they have a 10-20 percent probability of progressing. Igor Stimac isn’t interested in those odds. The Blue Tigers must go for the win and compete in the same manner as they did against the Oman U-23 team. To drown the hard-working Kyrgyzstan U-23 side and qualify for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup for the first time, they must be faultless defensively, and ruthless on the counter-attack.
Over the years, Indian football has made great progress in terms of promoting youth football. However, if there is no true end product, all of the efforts will be for naught. Qualifying for a prestigious tournament such as the AFC U-23 Asian Cup is critical in demonstrating that the country has a talented young core.
The Indian players have held early possession of the ball. To keep the ball humming, Apuia is displaying remarkable composure. After a superb passing show, India breaks into the danger zone, and Apuia attempts a long-range shot towards the end of the offensive sequence, but the shot goes wide. Igor Stimac’s men are off to a good start, moving the ball quickly.
Vikram and Rahim execute a brilliant one-two, with the former attempting a left-footed curler that narrowly misses the mark. Rahim Ali’s superb lay-off to Amarjit Singh results in the midfielder sending his shot far into the stands. Ali, the target man, has done an excellent job of putting his teammates in offensive positions.
A fantastic right-flank cross finds the striker inside the area, but his header sails wide. When defending crosses, the Blue Colts must do a better job of marking the players. The first-half whistle is blown here to signify the end of the first half. Both teams have failed to break the deadlock, therefore the score remains nil-nil.
India began the encounter with vigor but faded as a result of a high-pressing strategy. Igor Stimac must motivate his team to score in the second half.
Dheeraj Singh makes another stop from Tapaev in the second half. Stimac has left his seat out of worry after making an uncommon error that resulted in a shooting opportunity. Meanwhile, Apuia appears to be suffering from a knock. Amarjit Singh is replaced by Rohit Danu. From the gaffer, a more attack-oriented approach.
Deepak Tangri’s bicycle kick effort from a corner is saved by the goalkeeper. Only 20 minutes are remaining for India’s U23 team to score a goal and secure three points. They must win this match to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the main event.
Artykbaev is brought in to make a statement. The White Falcons make two more substitutions in an attempt to gain some motivation from new legs. The game ends without either team scoring a goal. We will now proceed to a penalty shootout to determine who will finish second in Group E.
Rahim Ali scores the game-winning goal. The Blue Colts have clinched a crucial victory and second place in Group E. Dheeraj Singh made two vital saves and is unquestionably the match’s hero.