Yet another loss for India

India sit at the bottom of the points table, without registering a single win in their four encounters. They next take on Oman in Muscat on October 13.

Jeje's strike failed save India the blushes.   -  M. PRABHU

India’s qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup suffered another setback, when it lost 1-2 to Turkmenistan in their Group D encounter at the Kopetdag Stadium in Ashgabat on Thursday.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who is playing for Norwegian side Stabaek, started in goal, while Chennaiyin FC’s Jeje Lalpekhlua and Delhi Dynamos’ Robin Singh partnered Sunil Chhetri upfront. The Indians had the first chance of the game, but Francis Fernandes’ effort was a few inches wide of the post. The visitors were made to rue the missed opportunity as they conceded, against the run of play, in the ninth minute. India, coached by Steven Constantine, were not bogged down by the setback and Jeje restored parity in the 29th minute. The Turkmenistan goalkeeper Mammet Orazmuhammedow produced a good save but the Chennaiyin FC forward was the first to react and lobbed the ball to equalise.

The hosts, however, went ahead again in the 66th minute as Amanow came up with a fine finish to give his side a 2-1 lead. Jeje's powerful header two minutes later was directed straight at Mammet, who had little difficulty in dealing with it. India had a grand chance to equalise again but Robin Singh failed to score with only the goalkeeper to beat, when four minutes remained on the clock.

The Blue Tigers sit at the bottom of the points table, without registering a single win in their four encounters. They next take on Oman in Muscat on October 13.

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