AFC Asian Cup 2019 India vs Bahrain: Bahrain broke Indian hearts in added time in the second half to qualify for the knockouts. The Blue Tigers could not create history by holding Bahrain to a goalless draw and make the knockout stages in the ongoing AFC Asian Cup 2019. With expectations riding high, Sunil Chhetri and his boys took on Bahrain in possibly the biggest match in India’s football history. India’s best result at Asian football’s showpiece event came way back in 1964 when they finished runners-up to hosts Israel, but then only four teams participated. With a knockout spot for the taking against Bahrain, Chhetri’s Blue Tigers started favourites.
But as the game started, Bahrain was on an allout attack and came close to scoring on a number of occasions, but it was some stellar defense from Sandhish Jhingan and Pronoy that denied Bahrain on a number of occasions. Chhetri and Co were unable to get into the groove as Bahrain pressed hard for a goal, knowing very well that only a win and nothing short of that can see them through over India and UAE.
It was goalless after the first half and that was a result that would have made Indian fans happy. Once the second half started, Stephen Constantine decided it was time to up the attack and hence he substituted Ashique and got Jeje instead of him. In the second half as well, Bahrain did not lose their game as they kept attacking and challenging Gurpreet, who was solid and did a good job to deny Bahrain the back of the net.
In the 75th-minute of the game, Bahrain won an indirect freekick eight meters away from the post, but unfortunately, from their point of view, they could not find the back of the net. The free-kick was awarded because of an own pass to the goalkeeper. All the 11 men were at the goalline.
Bahrain dominated the game and deserved the win one feels. It was an injury-time goal from the spot that separates the two sides.