India’s 1-2 loss to Kyrgyz Republic ends 12-match unbeaten run

India's 13-match unbeaten streak was brought to an end by Kyrgyz Republic's 2-1 win.

India did score twice in the 18th and 30th minute. However, the scorer Balwant Singh was ruled out offside on both the occasions.   -  AIFF

Jeje Lalpekhlua scored in the closing stages of the game, but it turned out to be just a consolation as India suffered a 1-2 loss against Kyrgyz Republic in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, at the Dolon Omurzakov Stadium, in Bishkek, on Tuesday.

With the loss, India finished with 13 points, confirming its spot in the main tournament in 2019. However, the defeat ended its 12-match unbeaten streak.

The host got off to a flier as it surged ahead in the second minute itself, off its first attack down the right when Zemlianukhin Anton dug it into the top corner of the net.

The second goal came in the 73 minute – the tireless and talented Murzalev Mirlan managing to swerve it beyond Indian captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s reach, who otherwise had a notable outing under the bar pulling off a couple of blinders.

In the first half, the host looked the better side trying to gain momentum with its deft passing. The Indians did press hard, but Kyrgyz appeared more composed on the ball However, India did find the back of the net twice – in the 18th minute and then in the 30thi minute, but Balwant Singh was ruled off-side on both occasions.

Changing over, Jerry Lalrinzuala replaced Narayan Das and was involved in India’s first shot on target in the second half. Willing to overlap, he cut in and laid it for Borges but his powerful right-footer was punched away by Pavel. Udanta, lurking around, did pounce on the rebound but wasn’t able to find the goal.

Gurpreet made his presence felt in the 67th minute, when he denied home side its second goal, much to the frustration of a packed crowd. But the crowd was not to be denied for long as Murzaev made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute.

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