AFC U-23 Asian Cup 2024 Qualifiers Draw Live Updates
Hello everyone and welcome to Khel Now’s LIVE COVERAGE of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers 2024 Draw. I’m your host Uttiyo Sarkar, and I’ll be keeping you company through what promises a fascinating event. Please wait for 30 Seconds for the Live blog to load.
AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers – What India did last time
The India U-23 football team ended their AFC U-23 Asian Cup 2022 Qualifiers’ campaign at second place in Group E. Despite having done little in terms of preparations, the Blue Colts produced some encouraging performances to pull off some surprising results in the end.
Unfortunately, finishing second in the group didn’t help them qualify for the main competition. They failed to be among the top-four second-placed teams that go through. That said, the Blue Colts still exceeded expectations – especially considering that the team played their first games since 2019.
Igor Stimac’s side were defensively solid and also played some attractive attacking football. With these performances, they proved that the future of the national team is in good hands.
India U-23 played their first competitive game since 2019 by facing Oman U-23 in their first game at the qualifiers. However, Igor Stimac’s side showed no signs of rustiness at all. In fact, they blew away Oman by playing impressive attacking football in the first half.
Rahim Ali scored the Blue Colts’ first goal through a penalty. Afterwards, Vikram Partap Singh produced an impressive finish to give India a comfortable lead before half-time. Oman got one back late in the second half, but some sturdy defending helped India get an important win.
In their second game, Stimac’s men faced the strongest team in the group – UAE U-23. To their credit, India actually went toe-to-toe with the talented UAE side. They defended really well and frustrated the hosts, while also creating some decent chances.
However, going too defensive made India pay as UAE won a penalty late on – which they converted into a goal. The Blue Colts went down fighting to a narrow 0-1 loss. With that, all the teams in the group were tied on identical points and goal difference heading into the final game.
India faced an unpredictable Kyrgyzstan U-23 side in their final qualifier. The Blue Colts put up a valiant show but could not find a goal against their sturdy opponents. In the end, both teams had to settle for a draw.
However, a penalty shootout was set up after full-time to decide which team finished as the second-best side from the group. Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem came up clutch in the shoot-out, saving two penalties to help his team finish the qualifiers on a high note. With that, India also finished second in the group.
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