India lost to hosts UAE 0-2 in a Group A clash of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. It was a heartbreaking night for captain Sunil Chhetri and the other Indian players who missed numerous chances to score. Despite dominating the first-half, India failed to find a breakthrough. Instead, UAE took a crucial 1-0 lead in the 41st minute. India’s attacking players put the UAE defenders under tremendous pressure but failed to find a way past the UAE goalkeeper. In the second-half, India failed to produce the performance of the first with UAE midfielders having a bigger say in the match. After keeping India at bay, Ali Ahmed Mabkhout scored in the 88th minute to put the game to bed and send the hosts top of Group A. Currently ranked 79th to India’s 97th, the UAE were placed as high as 24 in the FIFA chart in January 2015.
Highlights Score Updates Between India vs UAE, 2019 Asian Cup, straight from Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi
23:25 IST: Thank you for joining us on the live blog. Do join us for the India vs Bahrain match.
23:21 IST: Full-time: Hosts UAE defeat India 2-0. With 4 points from 2 matches, the hosts move to the top of Group A. India with 3 points are at the second position. They need to at least draw against Bahrain in their last match to book a place in the knockout stages of the tournament.
23:20 IST: Three minutes of added time. Sandeep Jhingan missed yet again as India fail to score.
23:16 IST: Goal for UAE! It’s game, set, match as UAE make it 2-0. Ali Ahmed Mabkhout scores in the 88th minute.
23:13 IST: Substitution for UAE as goal scorer Khaflan Mubarak is replaced by Ismaeil Matar.
23:02 IST: UAE almost score their second! Ismail Al Hamadi ‘s shot hits the post and rebounds back.
23:00 IST: Yellow card to India’s Subhasish Bose!
22:46 IST: India fail to score from a corner kick.
22:43 IST: Miss! Yet another miss by India as Udanta Singh hits the underside of the crossbar. India inching ever so close to scoring the equaliser.
22:35 IST: The second half begins. Can India find an equaliser or will UAE extend their lead?
22:24 IST: It’s half-time as UAE lead India 1-0.
22:12 IST: Missed! Sunil Chhetri missed it by a whisker as the ball rolls past the left goalpost. The UAE goalie Khalid Isha also missed to grab it.
22:11 IST: Goal for UAE! Khaflan Mubarak scores with a flick. Gurpreet misses and UAE takes an all-important lead in the 42nd minute. What a moment for Khalfan who scores his first-ever goal for UAE. The home crowd is thrilled to bits.
22:09 IST: Well saved! Gurpreet’s safe hands denied another UAE chance to take a lead.
22:06 IST: UAE clearly have the major chunk of ball possession with 68 percent to India’s 32 percent but have failed to create any clear cut chances.
22:04 IST: Corner kick for UAE. Their first of the match.
22:00 IST: With 30 minutes of play in the first half, India have had the best of chances to score but have been wasteful.
21:53 IST: Massive save! Sunil Chhetri headed the ball straight into the hands of UAE goalkeeper Khalid Eisa. The ball deflected back. A golden chance missed yet again.
21:41 IST: Attempt saved! Ashique Kuruniyan came down charging towards the UAE goalkeeper. That was an excellent assist by skipper Sunil Chhetri. India missed an opportunity to take an early lead.
21:39 IST: Chance Missed! Sandesh Jhingan almost scored for India with a header. The ball went above the crossbar.
21:36 IST: Five minutes to play time and Mabkhout entered the Indian area but Gurpreet nullifies the danger.
21:30 IST: It’s kick-off. The match begins.
21:26 IST: The players of both the teams are out in the middle for the national anthem.
21:05 IST: The Indian players have reached the venue.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 10, 2019
20:50 IST: India will take the field against UAE with an unchanged XI. Sunil Chhetri will lead the side. He scored twice in India’s victory against Thailand.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 10, 2019
20:30 IST: Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 match between India and UAE
Coach Stephen Constantine will be pleased with how the second half against Thailand turned out. India not only managed to shut down a lethal Thai attack after being tied 1-1 at the break, but also threatened at the other end through quick transitions in attack. That stupendous show earned India three valuable points, a place on top of the group and a goal average of plus three. “We have a very young side here and they are excited. Of course, hosts UAE will be a different game. They are a very good side but they are just another team standing in our way,” said Constantine.
As far as the Indian team is concerned, Sunil Chhetri hogs the limelight wherever he goes and the Blue Tigers will again look up to him upfront. It will not exactly be appropriate to say that Chhetri will be high on confidence after his double strikes against Thailand, which saw him go past Argentine superstar Lionel Messi in the goal-scoring chart among active international players, because that is an ingredient the Indian talisman never lacked. He is never overconfident, though. In a team sport like football, a squad heavily dependent on Chhetri would not have experienced a 13-match unbeaten run on way to qualifying for the tournament.
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