Football Men’s Team

India top Group A despite defeat to Kyrgyz Republic

After securing qualification with a 5-1 victory over Myanmar on Thursday, the hosts continued their momentum and went in front inside two minutes at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium through Zemlianukhin’s calm finish.

Following a period of sustained pressure in the second half the Central Asians doubled their advantage when Murzaev rounded off a nice move, but Jeje Lalpekhlua’s late strike meant it was India who advanced as table-toppers due to a higher number of goals scored away from home.

The hosts took the lead in the second minute when Zemlianukhin converted Zhyrgalbek Uulu Kairat’s cross from the right to the delight of the vocal home support.

Rowllin Borges curled an excellent free-kick against the post from 25 yards out as the 20-minute mark approached, before Balwant Singh tapped in the rebound only to be flagged for offside.

Singh had the ball in the back of the net once more at the half hour mark but was again unlucky as the referee had blown for an earlier infringement.

Holicharan Narzary’s effort from a distance soon after was comfortably gathered by Kyrgyz Republic goalkeeper Pavel Matiash as India pushed for the equaliser.

But the hosts could have doubled their lead when Murzaev found Islam Shamshiev, who curled just over from the edge of the area.

Kyrgyz Republic came out strongly after the interval as they sought to open up a two-goal lead that would put them in a position to finish as group winners.

The hosts did double their advantage on 71 minutes when Murzaev tapped in from close range following a well-worked move to put his side in a commanding position.

India gave themselves hope with three minutes remaining as Lalpekhlua headed in and, although the visitors were unable to get back into the game, the goal meant they finished on top of the standings.

 

AFC Media

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Arindam Sarmah

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