Doha: An impressive second-half display helped Qatar script a 2-0 win over India in their Group A encounter of the AFC U-19 Championship here at the Al Arabi Stadium in Doha on Friday (October 4, 2013).
Akram Hassan scored from the spot in the 60th minute after the hosts enjoyed a good spell of fifteen minutes at the beginning of the second spell where they won four corners in quick succession. Substitute Abdullah doubled the lead in the 89th minute.
“I am disappointed with the result but not the performance,” Head Coach Colm Toal told reporters at the Post match Press Conference.
“The first fifteen minutes in the second half turned the game on its head. I should congratulate the Qatari Coach for changing tactics at the right time and playing more direct. That worked for them,” he added.
Qatar played direct football post the breather sending the ball cross-field at every opportunity. One such occasion saw Akram being tripped by Vishal Kaith inside the area after the former tried to round the India goalkeeper at the hour mark.
Later, Akram rattled the crosspiece with a long-ranger. If the second half belonged to Qatar, the first half was India’s.
The hosts enjoyed possession in the opening exchanges but failed to make early inroads as the blue shirts closed them down diligently.
India slowly picked up pace winning three corners in the space of that many minutes. Germanpreet Singh impressed on both the flanks teeing up Kumam Udanta Singh on the right in the 23rd minute before switching flanks to send a teasing cross for Daniel Lalhlimpuia to skew wide.
Further up, Udanta Singh’s cutback-effort from the right in the 27th minute was somehow tipped over by goalkeeper Yousuf Hassan Mohammed Ali.
India’s four flag kicks to Qatar’s none reflected their dominance in the first essay. Just at the stroke of halftime, Shaiborlang Kharpan shot inches wide.
Qatar started the second half like the first. Midfielder Nasser Ibrahim side netted twice as the white shirts – most of whom can form the nucleas of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Squad in Qatar – equaled their counterparts on the number of corners won. The Indian backline to their credit stood firm.
But the hosts’ doggedness in the final third paid off in the 60th minute when Akram Hassan converted from the spot.
India reacted quickly trying to catch Qatar on the counter. Colm Toal ringed in the changes in search of an equaliser. SK Faiaz came in place of Kharpan and Alen Deory replaced Daniel in the 59th and 65th minute respectively.
Uttam Rai was introduced in the 83rd minute with Germanpreet making way for the striker.
But it was not India’s day as Abdullah doubled the lead at the death to take the game away.
India play Nepal next on Sunday (October 6, 2013).
India: Vishal Kaith; Gurba Gagrai, Pawan Kumar, Sajid Mohd. Dhot, Soraisam Pritam Kumar Singh; Lalrempuia Fanai, Souvik Das (C), Kumam Udanta Singh; Germanpreet Singh Uttam Rai – 83rd), Daniel Lalhlimpuia (SK Faiaz -- 59th), Shaiborlang Kharpan (Alen Deory – 65th)
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