India 0-0 Iran, highlights; Blue Tigresses held by Iran: AFC Asian Cup 2022

AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022: India held to a goalless draw by Iran in a Group A encounter in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.

India takes on Iran in the AFC Asian Cup in Navi Mumbai.   -  Emmanual Yogini

Welcome to Sportstar's LIVE blog of AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 match between India and Iran at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.

MATCH REPORT | AFC Asian Cup 2022: Spirited Iran thwarts India to share spoils

FULL-TIME. India came out a comptely different side in the second half with wave after waves of attack but couldn't break down the Iran defence. In the 77th minte, Dangmei had the best chance from close range but was denied by Koudaei.

90'+3' Indumathi's cross from the right sails behind for a goal kick. Is that the last possible foray for India?

90'+1' Indumathi sets up a shot at the face of goal for Renu but her effort is blocked!

Four minutes added time

90' WHAT A TACKLE! Dangmei is found inside the box with a flick on header but before she could pull the trigger a last-ditch tckle is effected!

88' Every promising situation seemingly cut out by the number of bodies in the Iran box as India looks to take a shot. Dangmei's shot from distance is collected easily by Koudaei.

85' Iran player gets medical treatment as India prepares to take a throw in from the right.

82' India change: Sumathi, Shilky Devi ON, Ratanbala, Manisha Kalyan OFF

80' Zandi nearly gave Iran the lead after she got to a loose ball ahead of Aditi and her hooked effort is denied on the face of th goal.

79' Dangmei goes for a shot from distance and this time clips the top of the crossbar.

77' WHAT A SAVE FROM KOUDAEI! Panna hooks in a cross into the six-yard area at the far post for an unmarked Dangmei, whose downward header is sprawled out by Koudaei!! 

75' India works the ball from back to front and a through ball is played into the run of Renu but a crucial touch from Motevalli takes it away from her for a corner.

72' India continues to pile on the pressure and dominate possession. 62 per cent in favour of the Tigresses.

70' Another double change for Iran: Sadeghy, Dabbaghi OFF. Farmani, Zohrabi ON

67' Sadeghi is booked for a cynical foul. Manisha Kalyan also goes in the book for a foul.

66' Chibber with a huge block from close range to deny Zandi from a corner kick!

65' India Sub: Renu ON, Pyari OFF

63' Pyari fires a shot on target from a tight angle and forces a save from the keeper.

62' What a chance for India! Indumathi is played behind the defence by Pyari but the midfielder doesn;t return the favour and ends up finding the side-netting instead of a cut-back.

59' Double change for Iran: Sarbali, Chahkandi OFF, Nikkhah, Masoumi ON

56' Anju Tamang wins a corner and Pyari's header from the set-piece goes wide.

55' India sub: Dangmei Grace ON, Sandhiya OFF

54' Dabbaghi is brought down inside the box but the referee says no penalty.

52' Another ball into the box and an Iran defender gets a crucial touch behind for a corner.

52' Now down the left and Manisha runs on the end of it before firing in a cross into the box where Pyari's outstretched leg gets a contact to see the ball go narrowly wide of the goal.

51' Good build-up from India as the ball is worked into space for Sandhiya but her cross is mishit.

50' India's passing has been sharper since the start of the half and it looks threatening everytime its in possession.

48' Indumathi skips past a challenge and makes her way into the Iran box on the left but she can't quite connect with her cut-back.

47' Dabbaghi is ran out of bounds by Sanju and India gets a goal-kick.

46' Iran's Zandi gets the ball rolling.

SECOND HALF

HALF-TIME. The referee blows for the whistle. India will be relieved it hasn't gone into the break trailing. Iran has seemingly caught India by surprise with its technical ability on the ball and direct approach with its use of Zandi's space to get behind the defensive lines.  India had a couple of big chances of its own in the lst quarter of the half but they were spurned.

Two minutes of added time.

43' Manisha is found inside the half space with a clipped ball but Manisha ends up conceding possession with a long ball which is intercepted.

39' Anju Tamang's shot from the Iran box appears to strike an opposition hand but the referee calls a free-kick for the away side.

38' Zandi's run behind the defence is found with a superb through ball but the offside flag is raised against her before she could pull the trigger.

35' Pyari's miscues shot from the edge of the box ends up looping into the box for Manisha to run onto ut her shot is blazed over.

Koudaei is lying flat on the ground and needs some medical treatment. She is okay to continue.

32' Koudaei spills a cross in the area and Manisha has a huge chance to help India take the lead but the bodies crowd her out and block her efforts.

30' CHANCE FOR INDIA! An unmarked Manisha fires her header over the bar from close range after she is found with a cross from the right.

27' India continues to look the long-ball approach or finding their forwards from deeper areas and fails to make the possession count. Iran dominating the game with its assured possession play and organisation in defence.

24' A long ball into the box falls kindly for Indumathi, whose half-volleyed effort flies narrowly over the bar but the 'keeper seemed to have it covered.

23' Corner for Iran from which Aditi is beaten to her punch by an Iran header but luckily for her the ball sails wide.

20' India's short passes into the final quarter has been caught short on numerous occasions now.

19' Another chance for Iran! From a long punt forward, Ashalata miscues her header which allows Zandi to get on the end of it but her finishing lets her down. Zandi's shot narrowly misses the far corner of the goal with Aditi stranded.

18' Indumathi loses possession from a throw-in before she tugs the shirt of Dabbaghi as she looked to set forward.

16' Indumathi breaks forward with the ball before slipping in a pass behind the lines for Manisha, whose cross-cum-shot loops over the bar.

15' Iran is growing into the game and is more comfortable on the ball.

12' REPRIEVE FOR INDIA! The floated free-kick finds an Iran head from which the ball loops high over Aditi to rattle the crossbar. After a scramble, India manages to clear the ball away from the box.

12' Chibber with a foul on Zandi on the left flank. Free-kick for Iran.

10' India is looking to find Manisha and Pyari on the flanks in their build-up play. iran hasn't offered much in the build-up play so far in the early exchanges.

7' A well-worked move from the midfield sees the ball find Pyari down the right channel in space. Pyari's cross to the backpost, however, is cut out by the 'keeper.

4' Manisha Kalyan gets into space on the left and runs past her marker to hook in a cross but there is a foul called against India inside Iran's box.

3' India don't capitalise on the second successive set-piece after its short corner routine is cleared out of th Iran box.

3' A ball over the top for Pyari Xaxa to chase but the Iran defender clears it out for a throw in before another interception leads to the first corner for India.

1' India gets the game underway form right to left.

FIRST HALF

Kick-off just moments away.

7.25 pm: The teams are making their way out to the middle. Time for the national anthems. India in blue and Iran in white.

7.02 pm: A strong XI named by the Indian coach Dennerby. Experienced midfielder Kamala Devi misses out and is on the bench, while centre-back Sweety Devi is not in the matchday squad.

6.44 pm: Our reporter Shayan Acharya from the venue says the players are out going through their paces before kick-off.

LINE-UPS

India XI: Aditi Chauhan (1); Dalima Chibber (17), Manisa Panna (3), Ashalata Devi (4), Sanju Yadav (8); Ratanbala Devi (7), Sandhiya Ranganathan (13), Indumathi Kathiresan (12), Anju Tamang (9), Manisha Kalyan (16); Pyari Xaxa (10)

Iran XI: Zohrei Koudaei (1); Melikka Motevalli (4), Ghazaleh Banitalebi (5), Zahra Sarbali (6), Behnaz Taherkhani (8), Samaneh Chahkandi (11), Negin Zandi (17), Melika Mohammadi (18), Fatemah Adeli (19), Hajjar Dabbaghi (20), Sana Sadeghi (23)

6.15 pm: Head coach Thomas Dennerby speaks on the changes he has incorporated since his appointment, what he expects at the Asian Cup, the significance of the tournament and more. READ

 

5.50 pm: With no domestic football for close to 2 years and the numbers stacked against it, the Indian team hopes to achieve an improbable target: A FIFA World Cup berth. READ MORE 

5.40 pm: India last played Iran in a Gold Cup match in 2019 when the Blue Tigresses came out 1-0 winners thanks to a goal from Anju Tamang.

5.32 pm: In under an hour, India's first starting XI of the tournament will be announced. Will be interesting to note, who are the two players to miss out from the matchday squad after having contracted Covid.

Update: China is off to a 4-0 win in its opener against Chinese Taipei to go top of the Group A table.

MATCH PREVIEW

The AFC Women’s Asian Cup returns to India after a gap of 43 years. In 1979, India had reached the final and a similar showing would guarantee the country a place in the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.  

The Blue Tigresses, however, are far from Asia’s best and are currently ranked 55th in the world (11th in Asia).  

China and Chinese Taipei are the other two teams in the group and India coach Thomas Dennerby believes the team has a realistic chance to reach the quarterfinals.

RELATED | Two Indian players test positive for Covid ahead of AFC Asian Cup opener

Despite the pandemic, the Indian team has had several exposure tours over the last year and performed admirably in the pre-tournament friendlies in the UAE and Bahrain. 

In the absence of the Bala Devi, who plays for Rangers in the Scottish Women's Premier League, India will pin its hopes on Manisha Kalyan. She scored the team’s lone goal against Brazil in a friendly recently.  

The vastly experienced Aditi Chauhan will guard the goal, with captain Ashalata Devi spearheading the defence. With seasoned campaigners Kamala Devi, Indumathi Kathiresan and Anju Tamang marshalling the midfield, India certainly starts as the favourite against Iran, which reached its maiden AFC Asian Cup after defeating Jordan in a penalty shoot-out in the qualifying round.

Iran will bank on the skills of 22-year-old striker Hajar Dabbaghi, who had an impressive outing in the qualifiers, and experienced campaigners like Behnaz Taherkhani and striker Sara Ghomi. 

With no spectators allowed in the stadiums, India will miss the support of the home fans, but familiar conditions should give the home team an edge.

The India vs Iran match at the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 will be telecast live on Discovery Network's Eurosport India and can be streamed live on Jio TV  at 7.30 PM.