AFC Asian Cup 2019 highlights: India loses to Bahrain 1-0, knocked out

Jamal Rashed's late penalty knocks India out of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Ashique Kuruniyan challenges for the ball against Bahrain.   -  AFP

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's blog of the crucial Asian Cup Group A tie between India and Bahrain.

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India's tactics of playing for a draw backfires. Bahrain constantly knocked on the Indian door for the winner and it managed after a period of extended pressure in the late stages of the match.

Final whistle in the other Group A fixture, it finishes 1-1 between UAE and Thailand and India is knocked out!

Full-time! Bahrain deservedly beats India courtesy a late penalty from Jamal Rashed.

94' A Bahrain substitute gets a yellow card for throwing a ball on the pitch.

As it stands, Bahrain is through with the win.  India will finish third if UAE and Thailland ends in a draw.

91' GOAL! Jamal Rashed converts the penalty! Bahrain celebrates wildly, Indian players look dejected.

90' BEDLAM! Pronay Halder concedes a penalty! Bahrain's pressure pays off.

88' Gurpreet reaches out to deny Bahrain attacker a shot at goal! He has been alert thus far!

87' Borges with a wild shot from outside the box for India, goes over comfortably.

87' Gurpreet with an easy save from Yusuf's tame shot from outside the box.

86' India breathe easy after surviving three successive corner kicks.

85' Gurpreet with a stunning reflex save from close range!

84' Borges with an interception inside INdia's box and its a corner kick.

82' Halder requires some attention here as he goes to the ground.

79' Narzary goes off for Anirudh Thapa. India's last change as well. Constantine will hope Thapa's passing could help bring some calmness in midfield.

78' Bharain's final sub, Alromaihi goes off for Sami Alhusaini. Yusuf's shot is collected by Gurpreet.

India is fifteen minutes away from qualifying for the knockouts! Just a reminder, the Thailand vs UAE game is three minutes behind this match.

74' India survives! Indian defenders rush out from goal and get the block from close range.

73' Oh dear.. Subhasish's stuck his leg out and the ball deflected behind is collected by Gurpreet. The referee calls it an indirect free-kick from less than 10 yards out!

India living dangerously.

71' Bahrain piling on the pressure on India. Abdulla Yusuf's header from close range strikes the post!

70' Jamal Rashid's free-kick is safely pouched by Gurpreet.

Yusuf is back on the pitch now. It's still 1-1 between UAE and Thailand in the other Group A fixture. India is placed second ahead of Thailand.

66' Udanta in action at the other end now. He makes a crucial tackle inside India's box on Abdulla Yusuf. Yusuf hobbles away for the moment.

65' Chhetri blazes over the bar with his shot.

64' Udanta makes a sprint towards goal but his hacked down by Hamad Nahmood. Yellow card for the defender. Free-kick from 20-yards away from goal .

63' Jamal Rashid's left-footed free-kick is pouched safely by Gurpreet.

61' Abdullah Yusuf comes on and immediately makes a positive impact! His shot from distance narrowly goes over the cross-bar!

60' Jhingan with a crucial intervention! Marhoun plays a pass across goal inside the box but the Indian defender gets in first ahead of the Bahrain attacker.

58' Halder blocks Bahrain's attack on the left with an extended arm, referee calls for a foul. Halder redeems himself by clearing out the resulting free-kick.

55' First change for Bahrain. Miroslav Soukip tries to outdo Constantine with his substituion. He takes off one of Bahrain's best player on the night in Ali Madan for Jasim Marhoon.

Ashique has been one of India's best players this tournament. His teammates today weren't able to play the ball to him to his feet for him to cause Bahrain trouble. Interesting substitution from Constantine. 

51' Narzary fouls Ali Madan on the right side. Halder clears the ball out of the box from the resulting free-kick.

49' Ali Madan, nearly! Sayed Dhiya free on the left found Madan inside the box but his shot was deflected behind for a corner.

46' Second half is underway. Striker Jeje comes on for Ashique. India's second sub.

India vs Bahrain half-time stats

 

It's goal-less at the break. India and Constantine will be happy with the scoreline after having lost Anas in the fourth minute.

46' Halder blocks a goal-bound header from Ali Juma!

45' Gurpreet's goal-kick goes out of play for a Bahrain goal-kick.

THAILAND EQUALISES against UAE! A scrappy one, but the War Elephants will take that. India still remains in second position in group A.

41' Alromaihi runs by the byline to get in to a dangerous position but Salam Ranjan recovers well to get in a block.

A big night for Chhetri by the way... He equals Bhaichung Bhutia's cap record for India: 107 caps. Will he mark the occasion with a goal? 

37' Chhetri wins a header inside the box but the referee calls for a foul.

36' Ali Juma with a foul on India skipper Halder. He goes down in pain.

 

34' Subhasish, under no pressure, puts it behind for a corner. Bahrain gets caught offside from the set piece. Wasted opportunity.

India has been under the cosh in the opening 30 minutes.

28' CLOSE! Narzary finds Chhetri inside the box from the left, but the Indian skipper is closed down before he could take a shot at goal.

Indian players are struggling to find Ashique up front.

25' Borges' free-kick is straight at goalkeeper Alawi.

24' Ali Madan with a crunching tackle on Subhasish Bose on the left. Free-kick for India.

22' Narzary cuts a shot across goal from left, gets a deflection for India's first corner.

21' Udanta steals the ball in midfield but Chhetri's chipped pass to Ashique is too heavy, rolls away for a goal kick.

19' Jhingan with another crucial interception to deny Alromaihi a clear path at goal. The Bahrain forward has trudged on the Blasters centre back.

17' India's passing has been off the mark thus far. They are constantly giving the ball away under pressure seeking quick transition from defence.

15' Narzary seems to be struggling now. Worrying signs for India. The left winger is moving gingerly at the moment.

India's new central midfield pairing of Rowllin and Halder has struggled to cope with Bahrian's pacy forwards.

Indian fans find their voice in Sharjah after Bahrain's early dominance.

13' Kotal with a delightful cross from the right but Ashique's header inside the box is not on target. India's first offensive move off the match.

Anas looks disconsolate on the bench.

10' India is constantly getting caught out in central midfield in the first 10 minutes. Jhingan and Salam are having to be alert with their offside traps.

Good news for India. UAE has taken the lead against Thailand through Ali Mabkhbout!

7' Sayed Saeed with a shot from outside the box and Gurpreet has to make another save.

Nervous start from India

6' Save from Gurpreet after a swerving shot from distance, the follow up shot by the Bahrain player is off target.

4' Salam Ranjan, the only I-League player in the Indian team, will slot in to the left center-back role.

3' Nope. Hands on head from Anas. He has signalled to the bench to be subbed off. Early blow for India. Seems like his knee has given way in the early proceedings.

2' Anas seems to be feeling something already. He gets on with play for now.

1' It's kick-off from Sharjah.

Pronay Halder leads out the Indian team for the first time in the tournament. The national anthems are done with and its game time now.

We will also be bringing the live updates from the corresponding Group A fixture between Thailand and UAE.

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India is on the cusp of making history as a win, or even a draw, against Bahrain will see it progress to the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 for the first time, making it the team's biggest achievement on the global scale. And so, tonight's clash may be the most important one yet of Stephen Constantine's career.

Read the match preview for everything you need to know ahead of the game. And, here is what India requires to ensure qualification.

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Head-to-head record

India has won four matches and drawn one in five encounters against Bahrain, with its most recent loss being the 5-2 defeat in the 2011 Asian Cup on this very same day. Will history repeat itself for India?

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Have your say here

 

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Constantine has perhaps brought in Borges to help India add more strength in central midfield. Borges stands at six feet as opposed the 5' 7" tall Thapa. Borges, who has made two substitute appearances in the competition, has had a good first half of the season at NorthEast.

He has two goals and as many assists in 12 matches as the Highlanders sit fourth on the points table. Coincidentally, Borges robbed Thapa off the ball to score the winner in the 4-3 thriller against champion Chennaiyin FC.

Rowllin Borges' statistics in the ongoing 2018-19 ISL season. (www.indiansuperleague.com)

 

Thapa, however, has started the tournament well. He scored a delightful goal in the famous 4-1 win over Thailand. He also has played in four key passes (passes which lead to goal-scoring chances) — the most by an Indian player in two matches.

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Team news coming in

Anirudh Thapa has been left out of the starting XI with NorthEast United's Rowllin Borges taking his place. The captaincy merry-go-round continues and Pronay Halder is handed the armband tonight.

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India will be playing in its traditional colours

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Here are all the permutations and combinations that can see India through