India ended its 2020 AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers campaign with a 0-3 loss to Afghanistan on Sunday at the Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium in Al Khobar. The Indians hit the crossbar twice but were unable to find a reply to three first-half goals from Afghanistan. The loss ended India’s AFC U-19 campaign with three consecutive losses.
The match began with Afghanistan taking a quick lead in the second minute through captain Ahmad Ramaki, who scored from a melee in the six-yard box after a corner kick. The Afghans got their second two minutes later through midfielder Ahmad Nawshad who scored from outside the box.
India's best chance of the half fell to Vikram Partap Sandhu in the 22nd minute, who unleashed a vicious shot from the right side which tipped over the bar by opposing keeper Hadi Zada. Afghanistan got the third goal in the 29th minute when Khatam Del latched on to a loose ball inside the Indian half and slotted past the keeper.
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In the 37th minute, Ravi Rana came close to putting his name on the scoresheet but is close-range effort was blocked. India took the attacking initiative and came inches close to scoring in the 51th minute. Gurkirat Singh charged through the middle of the pitch and was fouled on the edge of the penalty area. He took the resulting free-kick, which bounced off the crossbar.
Six minutes later, he had another chance after Manvir Singh found his way to the by-line and laid the ball off to Gurkirat. However, his effort was not on target. In the 77th minute, India came close yet again – this time through Vikram. Narender played in a curling cross from the left flank that found Vikram in space but his header was not on target.
With seven minutes to play, the Indians were denied by the woodwork yet again. Givson Singh played in a free-kick from the right flank and Akash popped up with a quick shot, which hit the crossbar and was cleared away by the Afghan defence.
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