FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Afghanistan lead India 1-0 at half time
Dushanbe (Tajikistan): A Zelfagar Nazary goal in the 46th minute is the difference between India and Afghanistan in FIFA world Cup Qualifier at the Republican Central Stadium here on Thursday.
The hosts started the game strong pressing India and trying to make the most of their physical strength. They were happy to sit deep and let India have the ball. Meanwhile, India started slowly and were struggling to break through the well drilled Afghani defence. It took 26 minutes for the men in blue to register a meaningful shot.
Mandar Rao Desai at leftback and Ashique Kuruniyan as the left forward had a lot of attacking input but left gaps in the defence. Afghanistan took advantage of the situation and kept attacking through their right.
Afghani rightback David Najem took advantage of the space available and it led to the goal. His overlapping run and low cutback found Zelfagar Nazary on the edge of the Indian penalty box. His first time effort was too much for keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to handle.
He got a hand to it but that was not enough to prevent the ball from resting in the net. It was the goal that India did not want to concede.