India drew with Bangladesh. Saad Uddin gave Bangladesh the lead in the 42nd minute and the visitors looked like going back home with all the three points in the Group E FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifier second-round match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata. Adil Khan, however, ensured that India at least secures a point from the home match as he rose highest to nod home a Brandon Fernandes corner kick in the 88th minute. A defeat at home would have severely dented India’s hopes of advancing in the next round.
The clash apart from being a World Cup Qualifier will also serve as the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifier. The Igor Stimac-coached side, ranked 104 in the world, are strong favorites to beat neighbors Bangladesh who are 83 rungs below them. India had lost to Oman 1-2 in their opening match before holding Asian champions Qatar to a goal less draw in their previous match. They now have two points from three matches, while Bangladesh stays at the bottom with one point from three games.
Bangladesh was the more organized and penetrating side as they put up a spirited show against India who was backed by a full-capacity crowd at the Saltlake Stadium.
Inspirational captain Sunil Chhetri was not at his best as also goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who kept at bay the marauding Qataris in the memorable drawn game in Doha.
Gurpreet misjudged the flight of the ball to let in Bangladesh’s goal to the stunning silence of the packed 65,000-plus crowd.
It was Rahul Bheke who conceded a freekick on the left and Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan curled it in to the far post where Gurpreet missed the flight completely and Saad Uddin finished it with a diving header.
Ranked 83 places below India, Bangladesh looked more threatening and could have easily doubled the lead in the 54th minute when the right-winger Mohammad Ibrahim’s shot hit the crosspiece.
India woke up from their slumber only late in the second half, making a flurry of chances but then Bangladesh defense gave a good account of themselves with Ibrahim making a goal-line clearance from Anas Edathodika’s header.
In the 88th minute, Adil Khan equalized, a minute after Chhetri’s shot was deflected. Brandon set it up with an accurate corner and Adil found it near the post to find the goal.
Adil Khan’s Late Strike Helps India Draw Bangladesh 1-1
Kolkata: India snatched a 1-1 draw from the jaws of defeat against much lower-ranked Bangladesh to dent their chances of qualification in a Group E Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup tie at the packed Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Tuesday.
A first-half strike from Saad Uddin in the 42nd minute helped Bangladesh take a shock lead against India, who are 83 places above them and drew 0-0 against Asian champions Qatar in their last game.
The hosts had a flurry of chances to peg back with Anas Edathodika’s shot headed out by Mohammad Ibrahim on the goal line in the second half. It was only in the 88th minute that center-back Adil Khan headed in a goal to equalize.
India enjoyed the lion’s share of ball possession and tried hard to open up the Bangladesh defense but the away side held firm as the hosts fluffed their lines in the final third.
Bangladesh got their first opportunity in the 31st minute when Biplo Ahamed sneaked into the box only for Anas to intercept at the right time.
Four minutes later, Bangladesh goalkeeper Ashraful was forced into a fingertip save from Manvir Singh’s looping header as India kept knocking at the door.
But against the run of play, Bangladesh nosed ahead three minutes before halftime. Skipper Jamal Bhuyan swung in a delectable free-kick for Saad to nod in past Gurpreet who failed to catch the ball.
After the break, Bangladesh missed a golden opportunity to double their advantage when Sohel Rana cut in from the left to set up Mohammad Ziban, whose shot was saved well by Gurpreet.
Bangladesh too, could have doubled their advantage as Mohammad Ibrahim’s shot found the crossbar in the second-half and Adil made a goalline clearance.
The result means India move to two points from three games after losing their campaign opener to Oman. Bangladesh, who prior to this game had lost both their matches against Afghanistan and Qatar, logged their first point but remained at the bottom of the five-team group.