AFC Asian Cup 2024: India Loses Vision of Plans in 3-0 Loss to Uzbekistan.

AFC Asian Cup 2024: India’s attackers left much to be desired, while defensive lapses proved to be costly.

AFC Asian Cup 2024


Although the Indian men’s football team was praised for their tenacity against Australia despite a 0-2 setback, a 0-3 loss to Uzbekistan in their second AFC Asian Cup 2024 match has thrown a wrench in the plans of Igor Stimac and his side.

Anirudh Thapa returned from injury for this match, but the Mohun Bagan Super Giant midfielder made little effect. The White Wolves dominated possession from the start, firmly establishing their supremacy.

The opening goal came in the fourth minute of the game, courtesy of a three-man Uzbek attack. Sherzod Nasrullaev, a left-back, floated a cross from the flank that was received by midfielder Otabek Shukurov’s head.

As the final element of the sequence, the ball made its way to Abbosbek Fayzullaev, a 20-year-old winger for Russian club CSKA Moscow, who guided his header past Indian custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

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The trickster also had a key role in the game’s second goal, which came in the 18th minute. Sprinting down the left wing, he sent a grounded cross that Akash Mishra slid into with all his strength. Although the left-back’s attempts could have easily ended in an own goal, it ricocheted off the woodwork and was nestled into an empty net by experienced attacker Igor Sergeyev.

One of India’s few chances in this match came in the 45th minute, when winger Naorem Mahesh Singh hit a left-footed shot from outside the box that was parried away by Uzbek custodian Utkir Yusupov.

Four minutes later, Uzbekistan led 3-0, with another defensive lapse proving disastrous for India. Another full-back, Farrukh Sayfiev, delivered a cross from the right side that hit Sherzod Nasrullaev’s training leg. For the second time in the contest, the ball struck the crossbar only to find a player in white, this time Nasrullaev, who guided it past Gurpreet.

After losing two consecutive matches, India’s last group stage match against Syria, which will be played on January 23 at Al Khor’s Al Bayt Stadium, is effectively a must-win game if they are to advance to the round of 16.

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