India men’s football team bows out of Kings Cup, following 5-4 defeat on penalties against Iraq

Public TV English
Public TV English
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MAE RIM:  The Indian men’s football team crashed out from the Kings Cup semifinal clash after falling short on penalties against Iraq at the 700th Anniversary Stadium on Thursday.

The Blue Colts went to toe against Iraq but ended up falling short in the end in a nerve-racking penalty shootout which ended 5-4 in favour of the Lions of Mesopotamia.

The entire game was a story of defensive errors, India’s defence snapped in the crucial moments, while Iraq’s keeper had a moment to forget.

Iraq kicked off the game on a dominant foot, enjoying possession and putting crosses in the box. India managed to hold onto their nerves and effectively kept Iraq’s attack at bay.

They continued to enjoy possession as India’s attackers didn’t press with urgency to win the ball. Iraq’s passion play started to bear fruits as the first clear-cut opportunity fell their way. A cutback pass from the right-winger inside the box was equally met with the Indian defence to maintain parity in the game.

India escaped another scare 5 minutes later as Ashique Kuruniyan gave away the ball in dangerous territory but striker Al-Hamadi failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

As Iraq became more dominant, India responded Naorem Mahesh Singh opening the scoreline following a delightful through ball from midfielder Sahal Samad in the 16th minute of the game.

Within the next 15 minutes, Iraq found the equalizer following a penalty. Sandesh Jhingan got a yellow card for handball inside the box. Al-Hamadi made no mistake in restoring parity.

Half-time whistle blew and the scoreline read 1-1.

India took the lead in the opening six minutes of the second half, Manvir shot didn’t pose much of a threat to the keeper, yet somehow he managed to make a mess of it and the ball rolled into the back of the net.

India managed to keep Iraq’s at bay, but they finally broke through India’s resolute defence in the final 10 minutes of the game. Another penalty and another goal for Iraq. Forward Aymen scored from the sport to make it 2-2.

At the end of the 90 minutes, the game was level on 2-2.

The clash went to a penalty shootout, where Iraq converted all of their spot kicks while India managed to score four. Brandon Fernandes struck the post in the first penalty and Gurpreet couldn’t keep out to bring India back into the game. (ANI)

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