- September 28, 2023 19:11That’s all folks!
That was all from Sportstar on this game at the Asian Games 2023. Sunil Chhetri and all of India’s men’s team footballers will now return to the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs after an exit from the Asiad.
We will be back with more football action, in ISL and otherwise, very soon. Thank you for tuning into this space today and take very good care of yourselves.
- September 28, 2023 19:08Match Report
- September 28, 2023 18:51Full Time! India 0-2 Saudi Arabia
The match ends with a Samuel James free-kick which flies off-target and India crashes out of the Asian Games men’s football tournament. The women’s team had earlier made a group-stage exit.
- September 28, 2023 18:5090+1’
India continues to stick to its policy of parking the bus in the last moments to limit the bleeding. The strategy works as it wards off another attack from the Men in Green.
- September 28, 2023 18:4889’
Saleh Waheeb gets the ball after making a run around the defence, beats a couple of India defenders but fails to land a shot on target. Ahmed Al Ghamdi gets to the ball, but his shot is blocked by Jhingan.
- September 28, 2023 18:4688’
The Indian defence clears the ball after giving the ball away initially.
- September 28, 2023 18:4687’
Saudi Arabia continues to attack, with attempts one after the other. Dheeraj makes another save to deny a certain goal. Second later, Al Ghamdi shoots on goal, which is deflected for a corner kick.
- September 28, 2023 18:4485’
Bryce Miranda and Rahul KP combine int he fina third, with Rahul trying another shoy on target. But his final shot lacks any force at all as it is saved comfortably by Ahmed Al Jubaya.
- September 28, 2023 18:4284’
Al Ghamdi tries to get the ball off Rohit Danu as Saudi plots another attack. But the referee gives a free-kick to India, which is taken quickly by the Boys in Blue.
- September 28, 2023 18:4183’ Good save by Dheeraj!
Saudi Arabia attacks with set-pieces again. Rayan Hamed heads in a lobbed ball, which is pushed out at the last moment by Dheeraj to limit the Saudi side to just two goals so far.
- September 28, 2023 18:3981’
Hussain Khalid gets the ball along the left flank as he tries to cross in the centre. As India tracks back, he gets it back to his own half to let his team start another attack from scratch.
- September 28, 2023 18:3779’
Bryce Miranda tries to force in an attack from the left again, with his blistering pace but Saudi is maintaining a rigid defensive line to contain any problem.
- September 28, 2023 18:3678’
India tries an attack, with Sunil Chhetri delivering a through ball for Rahul KP on his right. Rahul gets the ball but his shot is just off-target. That was Sunil’s last on-field contribution in the game as Rahit Danu replaces him.
- September 28, 2023 18:3375’
The Indian side looks rather tired now and runs the risk of conceding more, as happened against China in the opening game. Meanwhile, Marran gets a ball in thebox but Dheeraj steals it off him. The Al Nassr forward appeals for a penalty but does not get it.
- September 28, 2023 18:3274'
Hussain Khalid gets the ball along the left and he tries to deliver a cross for Marran. But Lachungnunga forces the ball out with astute marking.
- September 28, 2023 18:3173'
A very poor clash of players in the Indian half as lack of sync sees two Indians crash into each other with Saudi getting the ball back. However, Jhingan and co ensure the ball causes no further trouble.
- September 28, 2023 18:2971’
Amarjit Singh Kiyam loses the ball cheaply in the midfield and Saad gets going yet again into the final third. Saudi beats the Indian defence but Al Ghamdi’s shot is way off-target.
- September 28, 2023 18:28YELLOW CARD69’ Another yellow card in quick succession!
Saad continues to draw defenders towards him and Ayush Chhetri gets into the book immediately. Thats two Indian players booked in very quick succession.
- September 28, 2023 18:26YELLOW CARD69’
Narender Gahlot tries to get the ball off Saad but ends up sticking the boot on a falling Saad. The Odisha FC defender gets a booking as a result.
- September 28, 2023 18:2567’
Bryce Miranda gets the ball in the left flank and tries to make a run past the defence. However, he loses control of the ball, which gets out of play eventually.
- September 28, 2023 18:2365’
Saudi Arabia makes two changes as well with Aloyayri and Al Sibyani onto the pitch. The Saudi side continues to make more re-inforcements to maintain the lead as it eyes a spot in the quarterfinal.
- September 28, 2023 18:20Three changes for India!
In: Bryce Miranda, Ayush Dev Chhetri, Azfar Noorani , Out: Rahim Ali, Chinglensana Singh, Abdul Rabeeh
- September 28, 2023 18:1961’
India tries an attack with a free-kick. Sunil Chhetri lobs in the ball to his left for Jhingan, but Saudi manages to get the ball off the centre-back, who tracks back quickly to do[ his defensive duties.
- September 28, 2023 18:17Learning from Cristiano Ronaldo?
Khalil Marran is the only player in Saudi’s playing XI from Al Nassr tonight. He has played with Cristiano Ronaldo and has also scored for the senior team in the Saudi Pro League.
- September 28, 2023 18:15GOAL57’ Marran scores his second!
Khalil Marran draws Dheeraj to him in the box, having received a through ball and as the Goa goalkeeper gives space to his left, Marran buries tucks the ball into the net for his and Saudi’s second of the game.
- September 28, 2023 18:1455’
The Indian team will look to change its tactics from here. The completely defensive approach will fall flat now, as Stimac’s men trail in this knockout fixture at the moment.
- September 28, 2023 18:1254’
Dheeraj Singh instructs his side to keep its cool. The team has conceded just one goal against a conutry which ranks way up in FIFA Rankings (in terms of the senior side) and has defended fairly well so far.
- September 28, 2023 18:09GOAL51’ Goal! Marran scores for Saudi!
Khalil Marran gets the ball in the box through a cross from the right side. Mohammed Abu Al Shamat whips in the cross and Khalil Marran makes no mistake to head the ball into the net.
- September 28, 2023 18:0850’
India has one blue shirt clung to Saudi Arabia’s forward line as Stimac’s side clears every through ball into the final third.
- September 28, 2023 18:0748’
Lalchungnunga’s challenge on Al Ghamdi gives Saudi a free-kick. Musab takes the free-kick, which is on target but Dheeraj punches it out of danger. Good goalkeeping by the FC Goa goalie.
- September 28, 2023 18:0547’
Saudi starts the second half exactly how it did in the first half, with attacks along the left. Its cross earns it a corner, which when taken, is eventually cleared by Sana Singh.
- September 28, 2023 18:03Second half begins!
The next half begins with Saudi making one change in its XI! Al Ghamdi replaces Saad Al-Nasser, who was looking dangerous along the right in the first half.
- September 28, 2023 17:58Did you know?
The last time India played in the round of 16 at the Asian Games, India lost 0-5 to Japan. Here is what happened in that match:
- September 28, 2023 17:48HALFTIMEHT! India 0-0 Saudi Arabia at the break
Despite Saudi Arabia coming close to soring on multiple occasions, a resilient India has forced the score to remain 0-0 at the half-way mark.
- September 28, 2023 17:4645+2’ What a block from Jhingan!
India gets into ball-watching mode as Saudi smoothly beats the India low-block with low passes. The ball gets to Zakaria on the left, whoses shot is blocked by Jhingan.
- September 28, 2023 17:4545’ Change for India!
In: Samuel James, Out: Gurkirat Singh
- September 28, 2023 17:4544’
India tries to build up slow, late inthe first half, trying to find spaces in Saudi’s defence, to finally have an attack. Saudi however, win the ball back and Haitam tries a shot on target, which is again blocked by the Indian defence.
- September 28, 2023 17:4343’
The Indian team has two of its men in the final third while the remaining eight are all staying back to limit the opponents as much as possible. Meanwhile Asiri loses discipline to get into the book after he makes a futile attemot to win the ball in the midfield.
- September 28, 2023 17:4140’ First real test for Dheeraj!
Gurkirat fouls Musab Al-Juwayr to get into the book for what was a rash challenge. Al-Juwayr takes the free-kick, which is saved by Dheeraj. This was the first time Dheeraj was actually tested.
- September 28, 2023 17:3939’
Sana Singh tries to stop Asiri in his tracks and gives away a free-kick. The HFC defender will have to be careful as he is already on a yellow card.
- September 28, 2023 17:3836’
Rahim Ali tries to stop Saad along the right flank but concedes a free-kick. The linesman does not assist the ref for a card as he feels the Indian had slipped. Saudi takes the free-kick, with Asiri heading the ball in. But the ball lands into Dheeraj’s gloves.
- September 28, 2023 17:3635’
Saudi Arabia attacks on the counter with another long ball into the box. Sana Singh clears it but Saudi goes again. A through ball into the box is crosses to the centre by Saudi but India, somehow, get it out of the melee as Dheeraj finally takes control of the ball.
- September 28, 2023 17:3434’
India tries to force Saudi back into its box to attack onthe counter as Rahim and Sunil Chhetri try and find a space to attack. Chhetri is beaten Saudi through an overlap as the boys in green continue to dominate ball possession.
- September 28, 2023 17:3333’
India sees out that set-piece attempt for another corner on the other side. Marran tries to sneek it in from this but that danger is also evaded by Stimac’s side.
- September 28, 2023 17:3232’
Jhingan to the rescue! Saudi Arabia’s long bal is first blocked by the Indian defence but it still enters the Indian penalty box and Jhinga heads it out for a Saudi corner kick.
- September 28, 2023 17:3131’
Musab takes the free-kick - a right-footed curler which flies just off-target. The ball was spinnig but it did not dip at the right time as it glided over the net.
- September 28, 2023 17:30YELLOW CARD30’ Chinglensana gets a booking!
Zakaria tries a run into the box and Sana Singh stops in what was a late challenge. Saudi gets a free kick in front of the box and the HFC centre-back gets into the book.
- September 28, 2023 17:2926’
Saudi Arabia is trying every means possible to breach the low block of India - one that reminiscent of Egypt’s wall of defence at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The team looks for only one target at the moment - to limit Saudi’s attack as much as possible.
- September 28, 2023 17:2625’ First shot on target for Saudi Arabia!
Marran gets the ball outside the box and tries a shot on target. Dheeraj, however, easily gets to the ball, to end that development.
- September 28, 2023 17:2525'
’Saudi Arabia attacks on the counter again, building up from the left and then trying to have more men in the India box. But India makes a very good clearance to get the ball out of danger.
- September 28, 2023 17:2122’ Off the bar! Saudi almost scores
Saudi is forced to shoot from distance, with India maintaining a compact low-block. Musab Al-Juwayr shoots with his right foot, which beats Dheeraj but leaves the woodwork shaking. In the follow up, another shot just goes off-target. India escapes a clear chance of goal concession here.
- September 28, 2023 17:2020’
India playing triangular back-passes to enjoy possession in its own half as it plots a slow build-up for the attack. India has scored three goals in this tournament so far and only one has come from open play, scored by Rahul KP against China in the opener.
- September 28, 2023 17:1918’
Long balls by Saudi Arbia are easily contained by India with Lalchungnunga getting to it before Saad Al-Nasser. The corner kick, after an initial clearance, has Haitham Asiri try another shot, which goes off-target, again.
- September 28, 2023 17:1716’
Sunil Chhetri takes the free-kick after a practice-ground routine, which saw Rabeeh make a dummy run. Chhetri’s free-kick falls to Jhingan, but his header is cleared by Saudi Arabia almost off the goal-line.
- September 28, 2023 17:1414’ India’s first shot on target!
Sunil Chhetri wins the ball despite being surrounded by three Saudi players. He tries a right-footed shot from outside the box, which is easily caught by Ahmed Al Jubaya, the Saudi Arabia goalkeeper.
- September 28, 2023 17:1413’ Chance for Saudi Arabia!
Rahul KP tries to carry the ball from the midfield but he is surrounded by three Saudi players, who get the ball off him and passes it to Musab Al-Juwayr. The midfielder tries a shot, which whizzes past a fully-stretched Dheeraj off-target.
- September 28, 2023 17:1110’
India’s coach Igor Stimac looks to try and experiment with Rahim Ali in attack. The Chennayin forward has usually played as a No. 9, but is being deployed as a winger here. He tries get the ball off Abu Al Shamat along the right but ends up conceding a free-kick.
- September 28, 2023 17:1010’
Saad tries to get the ball into the final third, but Amarjit Kiyam makes a sliding tackle to get the ball off him. However, Saudi Arabia manages a shot which flies off-target.
- September 28, 2023 17:098’
India tries a quick attack, with Rahul KP combining with Abdul Rabeeh along the right. He gets the ball back in the box but is immediatedly surrounded by Saudi players, who make a timely clearance.
- September 28, 2023 17:087’
India has rested Bryce Miranda in this match, the player who has impressed with wing-runs and had earned India a penalty too.
- September 28, 2023 17:07OFFSIDE6’
Haitham Asiri gets a through ball into the penalty box but his shot is saved by Dheeraj. However, the linesman has the flag raised for off-side.
- September 28, 2023 17:055’
Saudi Arabia is trying to play-in long balls into the final third but the lower block is manned well enough by Sana and Jhingan so far.
- September 28, 2023 17:044’
The initial formations of the sides looks like a brick wall against a sub-machine gun. India is playing with two blocks of four players while Saudi has gone with a conuter-attacking 3-5-1-1 approach.
- September 28, 2023 17:022’
Awad Al Nashri and Gurkirat jump for the ball at the same time and the Mumbai City player ends up fouling the Saudi player. The free-kick is quickly taken by Saudi Arabia.
- September 28, 2023 17:01Kick Off!
India gets the ball rolling, playing from left to right while Saudi Arabia starts from the other side with a single No. 9 in the starting XI.
- September 28, 2023 16:57Minutes to kick off!
The teams queue up on the field for the National anthems of India and Saudi Arabia, respectively. Faisal Al Ghamdi leads Saudi Arabia while Sunil Chhetri has the captain’s arm-band for India.
- September 28, 2023 16:54The teams are ready!
Sunil Chhetri looks ready to lead the Indian side out of the dugout. Saudi Arabia, in green, is also gearing up to take the field in what promises to be an exciting encounter in China.
- September 28, 2023 16:48Club-wise distribution of the Indian starting XI!
Dheeraj – FC Goa, Gurkirat Singh – Mumbai City FC, Lalchungnunga – East Bengal, Chinglensana Singh – Hyderabad FC, Sandesh Jhingan – FC Goa, Amarjit Singh – Punjab FC, Rahim Ali – Chennaiyin FC, Rahul KP – Kerala Blasters, Sunil Chhetri– Bengaluru FC, Narender Gahlot – Odisha FC, Abdul Rabeeh – Hyderabad FC
- September 28, 2023 16:29Did you know?
The only player in Saudi Arabia named as forward in its strating line-up, Mohammed Marran, plays as a young forward for Al Nassr, the Saudi Pro League side, led by Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact, he was one of the goalscorers in the league match against Abha FC - a match where Ronaldo scored as well.
- September 28, 2023 16:18Starting line-up of Saudi Arabia!
Ahmed Al Jubaya – Rayan Hamed, Mohammed Abu Al Shamat, Mohammed Al-Yami, Zakaria Hawsawi – Faisal Al-Ghamdi (C), Musab Al-Juwayr, Haitham Asiri, Awad Al-Nashri, Saad Al-Nasser – Mohammed MarRan
- September 28, 2023 16:01Starting Line-up!
- September 28, 2023 16:01Ready for the round of 16!
The Indian national team is ready to play its first pre-quarterfinal in 13 years at the Asian Games 2022.
- September 28, 2023 15:35Match Preview
The Indian men’s national football team, led by Sunil Chhetri, will go all guns blazing against Saudi Arabia, in the round of 16 match of the 19th Asian Games at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia, the fifth-largest country in Asia and ranked 57 in the FIFA ranking, has always held the upper hand against India, ranked 102, having scored 18 goals in five encounters while India could manage only two.
The last meeting between the two teams in the Asian Games ended in a solitary-goal victory for Saudi Arabia in the 1982 quarterfinals in New Delhi.
In Hangzhou, India played three matches, losing against China (1-5), winning against Bangladesh (1-0), and settling for a draw against Myanmar (1-1).
These four points earned it a spot in the round of 16, setting the stage for the eagerly anticipated showdown tomorrow against Saudi Arabia. Saudi, on the other hand, won two matches and drew with Iran in Group B.
The team’s success, despite facing a few problems, can be attributed to India’s meticulous strategies and dedication to their collective goal. Chhetri emphasised the significance of working together as a cohesive unit, highlighting the importance of unity and solidarity within the team.
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