Full-strength Jordan shows class to prevail over India 2-1 in friendly

Ehsan Haddad's 58th-minute goal proved to be the difference between India and Jordan in a well-contested friendly in preparation for AFC Asian Cup.

India players in the starting XI pose for the customary photograph before kick-off in the friendly against Jordan in Amman.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

India went down 1-2 to Jordan in an international football friendly here Saturday, an improved second-half performance failing to salvage a draw for the visitor.

This was a climbdown for Stephen Constantine’s men weeks after holding World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi’s higher-ranked china to a goalless stalemate.

The 97th-ranked India, though, was without its talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri, who was ruled out of the game due to an injury.

The journey to the Jordan capital from New Delhi was also far from smooth for the Indian players, many of whom were left stranded at Kuwait City airport as flash floods in this part of the world disturbed the flight schedule.

As it happened

Goalkeeper-cum-captain Amer Shafi put Jordan ahead in the 25th minute with a dropkick that was too fierce for Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Gurpreet Singh failed to anticipate the awkward bounce of the ball kicked from the other end of the field and the misjudgment meant Jordan led India 1-0 at half-time.

READ| Jordan goalkeeper scores from own penalty area in friendly against India

Ehsan Haddad consolidated Jordan’s position and made it 2-0 with his 58th-minute strike.

Coming on as a substitute for Jackiechand Singh, debutant Nishu Kumar pulled one back for the visitor when he found the net from a close range in the 61st minute. That was only his second touch of the game.

While he goofed up to concede the game’s first goal at the King Abdullah International Stadium, Gurpreet also saved a penalty in the 10th minute.

India’s number-one goalkeeper dived to his right to deny Baniatiyeh.

While India upped its game after the break, the first half action was eventful, as it included a missed penalty, one booking and a howler by India captain Gurpreet.

The game against the 112th-ranked Jordan was in preparation for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

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