International Friendly Full Time: China 0-0 India
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
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India have to thank their fortunes for a goal-less draw today, but will be kicking themselves for not scoring late on. China struck the bar twice in the second half and went very close towards the end to steal a victory. While Lady luck played a big part in this result, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu pulled off some really good saves to keep a deserved clean-sheet. If Farukh Choudhary managed to score late on, it would've been India's first ever victory against China. Alas, the Blue Tigers will be proud of holding mighty China to a draw in their own yard and this performance can play as motivation heading into the AFC Asian Cup. Improvements are needed, but this result could fill every Indian Football fan with some much-needed home. This is Uttiyo Sarkar signing out for Khel Now. Thank you and Goodnight, Ladies and Gentlemen.
90+5 ALMOST A LAST MINUTE GOAL! China throw in the kitchen sink in the last minute of the game and send in a long-ball into the box. Gurpreet makes a smart save with his feet at first and the second attempt he holds onto really well to earn a draw for his side.
90+3 BIG CHANCE FOR INDIA!! A great ball was sent in to Nikhil on the right, allowing the winger to take it well and give a clever through ball to Farukh. The young striker manages to be in a one-on-one situation with Junling and forces a diving save from the keeper with a scuffed shot. Should've done better!
90+2 India move forward with intent thanks to Farukh Choudhary, who cleverly passes it to Chhetri to move through the left. But he is held by China's defender well and can only ear a throw-in for his side.
90+1 Five minutes of added time is announced. Can any team manage to score a winner here? India make one last change, as the industrial Anirudh Thapa goes off for Rowllin Borges.
89' The hosts manage to penetrate through India's midfield too easily, before China's winger tricks his way into the box. He sends in a cross which goes through everyone and India can clear it out.
87' China score, but have it disallowed! It was another corner which caused problems for India and allowed them to power the ball into the net, but the referee calls it back as Jhingan was fouled in the box prior to ball going into the goal.
86' Gurpreet uses his height to his advantage! Gao Lin manages to go past Jhingan and sends in a cross which almost crept into the goal, but the tall keeper did well to parry it for a corner.
84' Vinit Rai comes on for Pronay Halder. Will the Delhi Dynamos man be able to create the winner for India?
82' Both teams look exhausted, but are trying their best to get the winner. India are looking lively and actually moving forward with intent, but can they score the goal with a few minutes remaining? Nikhil Poojary gets shown a yellow-card for a silly foul.
79' Changes for both teams. Farukh Choudhary comes on for Jeje and Fan Xiaodong replaces Lu Xuepeng. Meanwhile, India get a big chance through a corner which meets a powerful header of Jhingan, who is unlucky to see his thunderous attempt go over.
77' HOW HAS THAT NOT GONE IN?! India are all over the place in defending another corner and are lucky that Yu Liming couldn't manage to beat Gurpreet, who made a fantastic goal-line save to keep India alive. The Chinese fans are livid that they didn't get a penalty, but the game moves on!
76' GURPREET SAVES! China threaten again through a set-piece, with another terrorizing corner meeting a powerful header which forces a fantastic save from Gurpreet, who had to stretch his body to the limit to pull off that strong right handed-save.
74' India are just hanging on right now. They've been lucky to not concede yet and Jhingan is aiming to keep that intact as he clears the ball with a strong challenge.
70' OFF THE POST AGAIN! Lady Luck seems to be with India together. China conjured up another attack, this time through the right. India can't seem to clear the cross which comes to Wu Lei, whose thunderous shot strikes the upper-cross bar. Frustrating for China!
69' CLOSE FOR CHINA! The hosts again gain some space in midfield, allowing them to send in a cross into the far post which meets their strikers' header, which hits the side-netting.
68' A counter-attack wasted by India! After China had a close free-kick breeze above India's post, the Blue Tigers moved ahead quickly and found the hosts scrambling. However, the final ball from Narzary was poor and allowed China to get back the ball.
66' Subhashish Bose makes a rare run forward, beating a few men before getting the ball entangled between his legs. He loses the ball and brings down China's players, something which doesn't please coach Constantine one bit. Meanwhile, a subsitution for China as Maitijiang comes on for Zhao Xuri.
64' China threaten on the set-piece again. After receiving a free-kick outside the box, a cross is sent in and meets the header of a Chinese player, which goes scurring wide of the target.
62' India start showing eagerness in closing down China's players to gain possession. Meanwhile, India make their first change. Anas Edathodika comes on for Narayan Das, which means that Subhashish Bose will now move to left-back. Nikhil Poojary also comes on for Udanta Singh.
60' China stitch together a few good passes before laying it off to their winger on the left, who sends in a deep cross which held by Gurpreet strongly.
56' UDANTA ALMOST! The move was all because of Halicharan Narzary's resilience in moving through the middle before he cleverly laid the ball to Udanta, whose shot went blazing over the bar. Good stuff from the Kerala Blasters winger!
55' Close again for the hosts! China receive a free-kick on the right wing which is sent in really well and meets the free-header of a player which goes just wide of the target.
53' Another chance for China! The hosts stitch together some clever passes in midfield before the ball is lobbed onto Lin inside the box, but Gurpreet stands strong to block his shot to go off for a corner.
50' OFF THE POST! China move really well through the right before a stunning loss cross is set into the box to Gao Lin, whose thunderous shot rattles the crossbar and goes out. India survive!
48' India create their first chance of the half. A free-kick from midfield is sent into the box and ball isn't cleared that well by China, as the ball falls to Chhetri inside the box, but his shot goes way wide of the target.
47' Scary moments for India early in this half! China start the half very brightly and Wu Lei finds space in midfield to move forward, before playing the ball to the right flank. However, teh cross isn't a good one and the Blue Tigers scamper to clear the ball.
46' The second half kicks off! India are now moving from the left to right and will look to score on this side.
India have actually done really well to contain China from creating any real chance. After a nervy start to the game, The Blue Tigers have been able to stop China from getting many clear shots on goal. While there has been a few issues in terms of distribution and retaining posession, India have looked pretty comfortable so far and have nullified their midfield completely due to Thapa and Halder's work. Pritam Kotal's powerful shot was their biggest chance to score, while China forced some good saves from Gurpreet as well. Marcelo Lippi will give a stern half-time talk for his players to improve their performance level, as the hosts have looked underwhelming so far. India, on the other hand, will look to continue this and go on the attack in an attempt to record a famous victory in the second half. We'll be back in the second half. Stay Tuned, Ladies and Gentlemen!
45+1' One minute of added time for what has been a topsy-turvy half of football. The hosts try to conjure up a last hurrah before half-time, but Bose clears the ball out of danger. Half-time!
44' China go close! The hosts get a free-kick on the right-wing, which is sent in really well and meets the header of Zhao Xuri, who is disappointed to see his header blaze over the post.
42' CHANCE! Some clever thinking from Chhetri, who takes advantage of Junling coming out of the box to clear the ball for a throw-in. Chhetri takes a quick throw-in to Jeje, whose shot had the China goalie scampering but went well wide of goal.
39' China are now looking to move through the left and their left-back Xuepeng sends in a thunderous cross which is cleared away by Bose.
36' India seems to have targetted the left-side and try to create another move through Das on the left. But the Delhi Dynamos star scuffs his cross on this attempt and allows China to regain posession. The game's tempo has become slow in the last couple of minutes, with both teams slacking off a little bit.
33' The Blue Tigers conjure up another decent move after Kotal's long-pass finds Narayan Dass free on the left. The left-back sends in a dangerous cross into the middle which isn't cleared well by China, but Udanta Singh scuffs his shot while trying to go for the spectacular.
31' India have gained some confidence in defending as the game has progressed. They are not letting China move through the wings that easily anymore and Halicharan Narzary's decent defensive work on the left is making them difficult to move that side.
27' The Blue Tigers gain some rare possession in midfield and play a string of passes together decently. However, once China turn up the tempo to gain the ball, Pritam Kotal mispasses a ball out for them to regain posession.
24' GURPREET SAVES! China penetrate India's defense too easily due to Subhashish' failure to clear the ball, which is played to Dabao inside the box, but his low shot is superbly saved by Gurpreet's swift legs.
23' The Blue Tigers have been especially poor with their distribution so far. There have been some simple passes which got scuffed because of China's pressure. The players need to gain some composure to pass around the ball wel.
20' The last ten minutes has been extremely back and forth. India are not showing signs of fear and moving forward with intent after an initial sloppy start to the game.
17' BIG CHANCE! India receive a free-kick on the left side and it is sent in superbly by Thapa to the far-post, where Sunil Chhetri was looming. But his shot was a poor one and went flying wide of the target.
15' China get their first shot on target! China get another corner, which is taken short and sent in really well and meets a Gao Lin's open header. But luckily for Gurpeet Singh Sandhu, the ball comes straight into his safe hands.
13' INDIA GO CLOSE! The Blue Tigers create their first chance of the game and after some good passing in the final third, the ball is played to an onrushing Pritam Kotal. The right-back hits a thunderous attempt which forces a great save from Yan Junlng and earns India their first corner. Really good move from India.
12' CLOSE! India survive a scare! After initially clearing the corner, the ball is cheaply given away to Wu Xi after some miscommunication, but his shot luckily goes flaring over.
11' Good defending from Sandesh! China again manage to penetrate into the Blue Tigers penalty area as Yu Dabo sent in a dangerous low-cross, which Jhigan got to before anyone else and cleared off for a corner.
10' The Blue Tigers are being forced to endure a lot of pressure in the early minutes. China again make things difficult for them when Dabao plays a sleek pass to Wu Lei, but Thapa is there to recover the ball inside the box and clear it.
7' China go close! The hosts create a really good move through the left as Yu Dabao makes plays an impressive one-two before whirling into the box, but Anirudh Thapa clears the ball before he can take a shot on goal.
5' The hosts are understandably dominating much of the early possession. India are struggling to stitch moves together and allowing China to move through the wings.
3' China have started the game with real intent and show great energy to close down India and force them to lose possession cheaply. Feng Xiaoting attempts a shot from outside the box, but its deflected away for the first corner of the game.
1' AND WE KICKOFF! China are the ones to start the game, as they attack from the left to right.
5:01 PM. China's veteran stars Zheng Zhi and Gao Lin. are commemorated for attaining 100 caps for the national team. The home fans give them a warm reception and are making quite a bit of noise. High-fives from both teams before the game kicks off.
4:58 PM. The teams have made their way into the field and are completing their pre-match duties. Quite a few Indian fans have traveled to cheer on for the Blue Tigers and are making their presence felt in the stands. Kick-off in a bit now folks!
4:57 PM. India have lined up to play in an expected 4-4-2 formation. However, Subhashish Bose playing at center-back ahead of Anas Edathodika proves how Stephen Constantine trusts him in that role. Marcelo Lippi's China are presumably playing a 4-3-3 formation and the Blue Tigers will have to be wary of their attacking threat today.
4:55 PM. Here are the starting line-ups for today!
India XI: Gurpreet, Kotal, Jhingan(C), Subhashish, Das, Udanta, Halder, Thapa, Narzary, Chhetri, Jeje.
China XI: Junling, Tong, Yang, Xiaoting, Xuepeng, Wu Xi, Xuri, Jingdao, Lei, Lin, Dabao.
4:50 PM The players look confident and ready to go in their pre-match warm-up. Sandesh Jhingan is being vocal in motivating his players and will look to make his mark by standing strong against China's dangerous attacking trio led by Yu Dabao.
4:45 PM- Hello everyone! It is an amazing day here in China and the Indian National Team is all set to face China in a FIFA friendly fixture. The two sides are meeting after more than two decades as they last met in the Nehru Cup in 1997. The weather is just perfect and spectators are coming in to experience the game. This is your host Uttiyo Sarkar, and I hope you enjoy the game with me.
Published: Sat Oct 13, 2018 07:03 PM IST