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Afghanistan draw a warning for Igor Stimac to back up style with substance

It's the fourth minute of India's crucial World Cup qualifier against Afghanistan. India have hogged the ball since kick-off and have been passing it slickly amongst themselves, one-touch at times, yet patient, probing. Suddenly, Brandon Fernandes senses an opening. With Ashique Kuruniyan, Sahal Abdul Samad, and Sunil Chhetri drifting toward him (left, left-centre), Fernandes switches play to the opposite flank with a delicious crossfield. Pritam Kotal traps it before marauding forward, plays a...

Doungel rescues a point as India remain winless

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India's Jekyll-and-Hyde performance in the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers continued, as they missed chances galore in a 1-1 draw away against Afghanistan in Dushanbe on Thursday.

India's performance was patchy, with a bright start giving way to a late goal conceded in injury time of first half against Zelfegar Nazary of Afghanistan. Substitute Seminlen Doungel saved India their blushes with a headed goal off a Brandon Fernandes corner in the third minute of time added in the second...

Sunil Chhetri 3/10 as wasteful India salvage draw against Afghanistan

Player ratings: Afghanistan 1 - 1 India

Positives

India still remain a threat from set-pieces.

Negatives

It took until the 93rd minute for India to put a decent set-piece into the Afghanistan box.

Defensively all over the place in the first half, and for some reason seemed unwilling to get numbers into the box during moments of attacking promise in that same period. 

Manager rating out of 10 -- 5 Igor Stimac's gameplan was pretty evident from the off, take the game to the hosts, exert...

Fans star as insipid 'Indiaaaaa' revert to normal

On Tuesday, in a crucial World Cup qualifier, India salvaged a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh with a last-gasp goal from a corner. From the high of Doha, Indian football seems to have returned to its normal resting state: oh-no-not-this-again.

Forty-five minutes of insipid football from the Indians was followed by a forty-five of chaotic endeavour. They over-complicated set pieces. They over-simplified open play. They did not defend well. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu went from hero who stopped Qatar to the...

Ratings: Shaky Sandhu 3/10 as India drop points at home again

Adil Khan's late equaliser helped India avoid a shock defeat against lower-ranked Bangladesh in their third group game of the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday. Despite an improved second-half performance, the hosts will rue their poor start, and particularly some sloppy defending that cost them two points in a game they were favourites to win. 

Report: Adil saves India's blushes against Bangladesh


Positives

After a disappointing first...