There was much to look forward in the build-up to India’s FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Bangladesh. The Blue Tigers were fresh of securing a steely draw against Asian Champions, Qatar. The fact that the draw against Qatar came without their most-capped player, Sunil Chettri, made the result against the Asian champions even more convincing. The qualifier against Bangladesh at the Salt Lake Stadium, therefore, was meant to kick off India’s winning run in Group E.
India, however, fell to the weight of their own expectations against Bangladesh. After seeing Bengaluru’s ISL-winning goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu make 11 saves to secure a point against Qatar, it was unnatural to see the towering custodian make an error to gift the visitors the lead in the 42nd minute. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu came out to collect a ball and completely miss, leaving Saad Uddin with a glorious opportunity to head in the first goal of the game for Bangladesh.
India’s performance against a team ranked 83 places below them in the world rankings left a lot to be desired. Settling the game with a last-gasp header from Adil Khan in the dying minutes of the game meant that Indian fans were left venting out their disappointment on Twitter later on Tuesday night. While India did see Anas Edathodika go close, with his effort being cleared off the goal line by the Bangladesh defence, their performance, after an exciting build-up to the game, left Indian fans disappointed.
Not an encouraging result but this is football.— Shaji Prabhakaran (@Shaji4Football) October 15, 2019
We missed a wonderful opportunity to take the momentum forward after a positive result against Qatar.
No one thot Bangladesh will put #IndianFootball under pressure.
No doubt for #Bangladesh it was as good as a win. #INDvBNG
Sunil Chettri, who was welcomed back into the fold after missing out on the draw against Qatar, was expected to inspire the Blue Tigers to victory. The Indian striker flattered to deceive in the game, as he looked rusty during the 90 minutes against the Bengal Tigers. His ISL teammate, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu also followed suit, after gifting the visitors the lead in the first half.
The Indian fans took to Twitter to voice their disappointment at the draw. Many Indian fans went on to say that India deserved nothing from the game. One particular fan went on to point that India’s last win against Bangladesh came in 2009 when the Blue Tigers beat the Bengal Tigers by the margin of a solitary goal in the SAFF Championship. The Indian fans also took issue with Adil Khan’s wild celebration after netting the equaliser.
Never understood the reason for that kind of celebration by Adil Khan which consumed precious time. We badly wanted time and he was celebrating as if we scored against Germany 🇩🇪. #IndianFootball #INDBAN #MeccaCholoBondhu— Dr. Sarath 👶 (@TinyPhysician) October 15, 2019
FT: India 1-1 Bangladesh— Rohith Nair (@RohithNair) October 15, 2019
"India really weren't a threat today." - Bangladesh coach Jamie Day.
He's right. You'd think we'd seen the last of aimless long balls. Why the midfield was bypassed for the majority of the game is beyond me. #INDBAN
Last thing Adil Khan should be doing is celebrating that goal. Just rush back and restart the game. Every second is precious for India #IndvsBan— Mihir Vasavda (@mihirsv) October 15, 2019