That will be all from the blog. Next up for India, Afghanistan on Saturday.


Sunil Chhetri, India captain and scorer of both India goals, speaking after the match:

Feels good. We kept a clean sheet. There are a lot of things that we could have done better. I’m not trying to be harsh. It wasn’t easy. It was very, very humid. But of course, it was the same for both teams, the tempo of the game could not be maintained for a longer time. It was really really humid, not to give an excuse.

At the end of the day to keep a clean sheet and to get the three points was very, very important and which we did. I’m pretty sure the coach will have a lot of things to say after he watches the videos. But all in all, just start on a good note with a clean sheet Feels good. 

We should have (gotten more goals in the first half). We should have, it’s not we could have, we should have. And again, I’m not trying to be harsh but you know international football, you don’t get opportunities where you can you know get get into places where you could cross and do some damage. I think we couldn’t utilise as well utilise as much as we should have. But again, maybe I’m just being a little bit old and and throwing tantrums. (smiles) At the end of the day. I think we’re very happy that we got the three points.

(Positives are) clean sheet and a lot of boys got a feel of what it means to play 90 minutes. A lot of boys had hadn’t played after the ISL. Few of us were in different physical conditions. So it was a good test for the coach to see. Some of the boys got around, some of the boys played 90 minutes so I think that will be important. Also the coach has already told us that three matches in about six, seven days we will need every one of us. So yes, that is the positive and of course we haven’t seen the videos of us how we performed and also the Afghan and Hong Kong game. We will now sit and watch that and then analyse and come up with the plan. 

— To Star Sports

FULL TIME – India 2-0 Cambodia: You know what they say, a win is a win is a win. Points on the board for India was the most important, they managed to achieve that. Sunil Chhetri with a brace, but a whole lot of credit for Brandon Fernandes and Suresh Wangjam, the engines of the performance tonight. It wasn’t pretty football, but it got the job done as coach Igor Stimac FINALLY manages a win at home for India.

FULL TIME: India 2-0 Cambodia

90+3’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: Oh lovely footwork from Sahal to come into the box but the final touch is heavy and goes past the byline.

90+2’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: India hold onto possession at the end before working a decent chance for Glan.

90’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: Nearly an own goal by Cambodia there. 3 added minutes.

89’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: Few moments of worry there for India but looks like just a cramp for Liston. Into the final few minutes now.

87’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: CHANCE! Kuruniyan switches on the nitro boost for a few seconds and beats a few defenders but his final chip is dealt with by the keeper. Chhetri liked that from the bench!

85’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: Sahal shoots from just outside the box, it’s a distance he can score from but the shot is high.

80’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: That was a 2v2 for Cambodia on the counter and they make a mess of the final pass. Jhingan thankful for a pass straight to him.

77’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: India are also seemingly happy with this lead now. No real urgency to get the third or more. (Also re: Chhetri’s sub, he was on a yellow as well).

75’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: Cambodia are sitting back still. Anant Tyagi on air reckons the visitors are playing this out so that they don’t suffer a big defeat. 5 out of 6 2nd placed teams will progress to the tournament too.

73’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: Roshan is on the turf after taking a shot. Might just be cramps. Veteran Pritam Kotal comes on for India’s 5th sub.

71’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: Liston-Sahal-Udanta might make it hard at the end for a possibly tired Cambodian defence.

68’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: Possibly a precaution for protecting the legs of his talismanic striker. Stimac brings off Chhetri, Kuruniyan comes on. Martins replaces the creator Brandon.

66’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: The atmosphere is rather electric at the moment.

59’ – India 2-0 Cambodia: GOAL INDIA! Who else, eh? Brandon has put in a couple of lovely crosses already, Sunil Chhetri would have loved to better from a couple of earlier headers but he nails this one from the No 10 after making himself space.

57’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: A snap-shot (more a pass really) from Brandon but it wins India a corner.

57’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: A long-range effort from Roshan, deflected for a corner. Liston’s shot from a short corner is into the night sky.

54’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: Oh, nervy situation. Jhingan is already on a yellow and he is under pressure 1v1. Referee is lenient there.

53’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: A little more intent in India’s forward passing and also seems to be a plan to play chipped passes over the defence.

50’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: CHANCE! That is a superb cross from the right onto an onrushing Chhetri by Brandon. This is a better header from the captain but still above the crossbar.

HALF TIME SUBS: India 1-0 Cambodia: Sahal and Udanta are in for Manvir and Thapa. Stimac with a couple of fairly attacking substitutions.

HALF TIME – India 1-0 Cambodia: Presumably the half time team talk from Stimac would be centered on converting that 69% possession into a few more meaningful chances. The 7 shots are not bad but very few threatened the goalkeeper apart from the actual penalty that was scored.

First half stats: India so dominant, even the foul count is triple.

HALF TIME – India 1-0 Cambodia: Chhetri’s penalty, won by Liston, the difference between the two sides. For all the possession India had, that is a flimsy lead heading into the half time but a lead nonetheless.

HALF TIME – India 1-0 Cambodia: Keo Sokpheng with a decent hit but he height of Gurpreet is good enough to hold it comfortably. And the whistle goes.

45’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: Just one added minute... and Cambodia have a free kick from a nice position just outside the box. Good distance that.

42’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: Not a good corner but the crowd cheers as Liston slides and recovers the ball to cut out a counter.

41’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: The Blue Tigers attack again but once again largely passive possession. Just not enough passing tempo or accuracy to trouble Cambodia.... as we say that, Akash with a nice cut into the middle and takes a right-footed shot. Saved! Good hit.

36’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: Oh, Akash had to be alert to the cross from left. Crucial header. India now allowing a spell of possession for Cambodia. Perhaps a counter could be on.

34’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: A surprise shot from Brandon but straight at the GK.

34’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: Darren Caldeira on air, “Too much of play happening in front of the Cambodian defence.” India not getting behind enough\.

32’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: Akash with a cutback from left, Thapa lets it go and it falls to Chhetri. But he cannot connect with his left-foot attempt.

31’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: Without the early goal, things could have been rather nervy for India at the moment. They are creating very little. Oh a yellow card for Chhetri and he is frustrated. And he is angry with the short passing presumably. HE is livid.

28’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: From open play, India are still running to roadblocks in the final third. They have all the possession but not much in terms of chances to show for it.

25’ – India 1-0 Cambodia: A rare foray forward for the visitors. Easily handled by GSS.

22nd min – India 1-0 Cambodia: OH CHANCE! Roshan with a cross from the right flank, Chhetri with his superb movement finds himself in a yard of space and well placed to take the header but it loops over. He is a brilliant header of the ball and that is why the reaction after that miss, one of frustration.

18th min – India 1-0 Cambodia: Liston is definitely getting the crowd excited when he gets on the ball. A strike from distance but dies down before reaching the keeper.

16th min – India 1-0 Cambodia: An early goal was absolutely vital for India to ease any nerves. Stimac was pacing nervously in the moments before the goal. The penalty itself... not enough replays to say 100% but it was a bit soft for sure. The defender might have got the ball first.

13th min – India 1-0 Cambodia: GOAL INDIA! Sunil Chhetri converts the penalty. He didn’t have the best of times from the spot in the ISL but no mistake her. That is absolutely perfectly placed to the right of the keeper who guessed right but couldn’t get a hand.

12th min – India 0-0 Cambodia: Penalty India! Colaco is brought down, or at least deemed to have, in the box after some pin-balling.

11th min – India 0-0 Cambodia: A bank of five defenders at the back and three narrow midfielders from Cambodia. A couple of roaming forwards doing basic pressing. Intentions clear from the visitors, of course.

8th min – India 0-0 Cambodia: Some nice warmup touches for both goalkeepers with shots on goal at both ends but nothing threatening.

4th min – India 0-0 Cambodia: An early booking for Sandesh Jhingan. That’s the last thing you want in the 3rd minute of a football match if you are a center-back.

Kickoff in Kolkata

National anthems are done (but not before confusion): The announcer says Cambodian national anthem will play... and then after a delay, the Indian national anthem plays. Then there is a long delay. Then the Cambodian anthem plays. Geez.

Earlier today: In the other match in Group D, Hong Kong defeated Afghanistan 2-1.

Hello and welcome to our live blog on the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers where Sunil Chhetri and Co take on Cambodia.

Details about the qualifiers:

There are 24 teams competing across six groups in six centralised venues – Kuwait (Group A), Mongolia (Group B), Uzbekistan (Group C), India (Group D), Malaysia (Group E) and Kyrgyz Republic (Group F). The 24 teams will compete over three Matchdays on June 8, 11 and 14 for the 11 remaining spots in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup tournament proper.

The six group winners and five best second-placed teams will join 2015 winners Australia,  defending champions Qatar, China, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea Republic, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Vietnam in the Finals. 

— Information via AFC

Screenshots in the blog courtesy: Disney+Hotstar in India