SUBSTITUTES: Amrinder Singh (GK), Nishu Kumar, Sandesh Jhingan, Sumeet Passi, Ashique Kuruniyan, Narayan Das.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) November 17, 2018
FULL-TIME: Jordan 2-1 India
9′ – missed penalty (Baniatiyeh, Jordan)
25′ – GOAL! 1-0 (Amer Shafi, Jordan)
46′ – sub (India: Ashique Kuruniyan [IN] Jerry Lalrinzuala [OUT])
58′ – GOAL! 2-0 (Ihsan Haddad, Jordan)
59′ – sub (India: Nishu Kumar [IN] Jackichand Singh [OUT])
61′ – GOAL! 2-1 (Nishu Kumar, India)
62′ – sub (Jordan: Ayed [IN] Ersan [OUT])
73′ – sub (Jordan: Shelbaih [IN] Hadddad [OUT])
75′ – sub (Jordan: Siaj [IN])
82′ – sub (India: Sumeet Passi [IN] Anirudh Thapa [OUT])
82′ – sub (India: Narayan Das [IN] Germanpreet Singh [OUT])
The Indian team went down 1-2 against Jordan in a match where problems off the pitch had an impact on the result of the game. The Indian contingent travelled in two batches which is unheard of for a club and more so for a national team. The second batch of seven players were stranded at the Dubai airport for 32 hours and only reached Amman with less than 24 hours to go before the start of the game. The team did not have training sessions at Amman and were without any equipment until the second batch of players arrived.
India started with Salam Ranjan Singh in defence instead of Sandesh Jhingan who was one of the late arrivals and made the bench. However, the entire first-choice forward line which includes Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, Udanta Singh and Halicharan Narzary were not fit to make the bench. India started the game with only six subs instead of the usual seven.
Anirudh Thapa was chosen to lead the attack with Jerry Lalrinzuala and Jackichand Singh on the flanks. Jordan started the game and dominated possession and in the 9th minute, they were awarded a dubious penalty for a handball inside the box. Baniatiyeh stepped up to take the penalty. The Indian shot-stopper G.S. Sandhu went the right way and saved the penalty only to concede a few minutes later.
Jordan’s first goal came in the 25th minute when a long goal-kick by keeper Amer Shefi caught G.S. Sandhu unaware of his positioning. Sandhu misjudged the bounce of the ball and the ball went over him and into the net.
India were extremely poor till the first interval and were not able to hold any meaningful possession in Jordan’s half. The midfielder Anirudh Thapa played true to his position and much unlike a striker. He was almost always never in a position to receive the ball to start an attack and any long ball efforts to find him were hopeful at best.
The right-back Pritam Kotal had a torrid time in today’s game with the Jordanian attacking midfielder Yaseen Al-Bakhit throwing a bag of tricks at him. Pritam looked very ordinary and India need a better right-back for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup. There is talent waiting in the wings with FC Goa’s Seriton Fernandes and Bengaluru FC’s Rahul Bheke excelling in the Indian Super League.
Going into the second half, India brought in Ashique Kuruniyan to replace Jerry Lalrinzuala. The change helped India gain more impetus going forward. However, that didn’t last for too long with Jordan scoring in the 58th minute to double the lead – a great piece of counter-attacking play and Haddad smashed the ball into the net. 2-0 to Jordan.
Soon after, the Bengaluru FC fullback Nishu Kumar came on and scored almost immediately. A ball in the box by Germanpreet Singh found Nishu unmarked and he finished expertly to get a goal on his international debut for the senior team.
After the goal by Nishu Kumar, Jordan found their way back into the game and dominated possession. A couple of attempts by India towards the end to snatch the equaliser showed promise, but Jordan were too strong on the day.