That’s it for our coverage from the qualifiers. See you at the AFC Asian Cup!

A good all round display by the Indians to beat Hong Kong 4-0 and win Group D of the AFC Asian Cup third round qualifiers. Both teams had already qualified for the continental event, but under the heavy rain at the Salt Lake Stadium, the hosts flexed their muscles from the first minute itself when Anwar Ali scored the opener. Sunil Chhetri got his 84th international goal at the stroke of halftime - taking him level with the legendary Ferenc Puskas. Manvir Singh scored the third late in the second half before he turned provider for Ishan Pandita’s 93rd minute glance home.


93’ - India 4-0 Hong Kong: GOAL FOR INDIA! Ishan Pandita gets on the scoresheet. Manvir Singh with the cross, as Pandita gets on the end of it, gets a touch and it rolls past the keeper and into the net.

90’ - India 3-0 Hong Kong: Four minutes of stoppage time

84’ - India 3-0 Hong Kong: GOAL FOR INDIA! Brandon Fernandes does well on the right, plays a quick 1-2 with Roshan Singh, gets to the edge of the box and cuts it back to Manvir Singh. The India No 9 side foots a first-time effort that the goalkeeper gets a hand to, but it’s not enough to keep it out of the goal.

75’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: That’s it for Sunil Chhetri on the nigth as he’s replaced by Brandon Fernandes. But he exits the pitch after putting the Indian team in firm control in this match, scoring India’s second at the end of a well-worked routine, and a flash of brilliance by the 37-year-old.

73’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: Another chance for Hong Kong as Fung Hing Wa gets a header at goal. Gurpreet dives to his left to collect the ball, but it’s offside anyway.

71’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: Good play between Manvir and Glan. Manvir plays in a first time cross from the right, but is a bit eager to make the cross, putting too much weight on it, giving Sunil Chhetri no chance to get there on time.

66’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: Liston shows a bit of strength to outwrestle his marker. Plays a give-and-go with Akash to bring it onto his right foot. Pulls the trigger from a distance but the shot is a tame effort.

63’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: Freekick for Hong Kong at a tight angle on the left side of goal. Wong Wai goes for the shot, goes just over the crossbar, but Gurpreet Singh Sandhu sees it to safety all the way.

60’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: Two substitutes for India. Udanta Singh makes way for Manvir Singh, Liston Colaco comes on for Sahal.

59’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: Chhetri charges forward again, cuts it back and passes it down the middle of the box. Two Indians are there but the defence gets a block away. Ball falls to Glan Martins, he goes for a first time shot from distance but it goes well over the bar.

50’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: What a chance for Sunil Chhetri! Sandesh Jhingan heads it forward from the midfield. Fung Hing Wa in the Hong Kong defence is there to clear, but he misses his attempted volley. Sunil Chhetri latches onto the loose ball with just the goalkeeper to beat. The India skipper shoots from inside the box but a strong save by Yapp Hung Fai.

49’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: Ashique Kuruniyan wins the ball back in the box, it falls kindly to Udanta, but he shoots wide. Referee anyway blew for a foul by Ashique.

Second half starts, as the rain continues to show no mercy

Players are out for the second half. Just one change for India as Glan Martins replaces Suresh Wangjam - who did have a booking.

Half-time stats

It’s halftime at the Salt Lake Stadium. India finished the first 45 just the way they started it - with a goal. Anwar Ali put the hosts ahead with an excellent finish with just 56 minutes on the board before Sunil Chhetri scored his 84th international goal to make it 2-0 under heavy rain.

Sahal Abdul Samad did have an excellent chance to score as well, but his shot cannoned off the post.

On the other end, Hong Kong did have a few chances, but could not find a finishing touch.

45’ - India 2-0 Hong Kong: GOAL FOR INDIA! Jeakson Singh takes the freekick. But even if it’s not Chhetri taking the set-piece, you can’t keep him away from the action. Jeakson’s lob is aimed towards the captain. Chhetri leaps and brings the ball under control with his right, settles himself, and then slots past the goalkeeper with his left.

44’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: Suresh wins a freekick for India a few yars outside the box. Not entirely in Chhetri-range though.

40’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: Excellent chance for Hong Kong. Cross comes in from Ju Ying Zhi on the right side of the box, Gurpreet comes off his line but completely misses his punch. Matthew Orr is there, he rises but the header sails over the crossbar.

35’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: As the rain starts to come down heavily in the Salt Lake Stadium, Hong Kong has started to get more possession on the ball and push ahead. Still no clear cut chances, and the Indian defence has remained calm.

27’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: India on the counter-attack. Roshan Singh races down the right and gets a cross in. A centre-back is quick to get in Chhetri’s way, but his deflection falls to Sahal who attempts a left-footed drive on the half-volley, but it crashes into the upright. That’s as close as you can get without scoring.

26’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: Chance goes begging for Hong Kong. Matthew Orr with a clever low cross, Sahal Abdul Samad was there but misses his clearance, and so does Sun Ming Him.

24’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: Good technical foul to make by Hong Kong captain Huang Yang. Udanta Singh was just about to shift gear and take off down the right flank on the counter-attack, until the trip from Yang - earning him a yellow card.

23’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: India has started to take control in this match. They’ve had the better share of possession and have had the better share of chances.

16’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: Good inviting cross from Ashique Kuruniyan from the right, spots the run of Chhetri and puts in a left-footed cross. Yapp Hung Fai in the Hong Kong goal notices the danger and is quick to rush off his line to punch out the danger.

15’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: Wong Wai goes for it from distance, not too far, but Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was well in position in case the ball did curl enough to get back on target.

10’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: Needless foul by Suresh Wangjam and the referee is quick to hand out a yellow card. Hong Kong midfielder got the better of the youngster, but Suresh decided to tug on his jersey to hold back the opponent despite him being in his own half and a host of Indian defenders still in the way.

7’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: Bit end to end so far, but no great chance at goal. Anwar Ali, after the opener in the first minute, has made his presence felt for the Indians in defence, stepping in calmly on many occasions to clear the danger.

1’ - India 1-0 Hong Kong: GOAL FOR INDIA! Corner taken short and the cross comes in from the left. Ashique Kuruniyan goes for the shot but it’s blocked. Ball falls kindly to Anwar Ali, and he makes no mistake. Hits his left-footed shot into the roof of the net.

1’ min - India 0-0 Hong Kong: India wins a corner after 25 seconds.


Chhetri wins the toss and decide India will kickoff first. Sides doesn’t matter at the Salt Lake Stadium. India will be the ones supported in this stadium.

Here come the teams for the national anthems.

Hello and welcome to our live blog for the final game of Group D in the third round of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, between India and Hong Kong.

India started their campaign with a 2-0 win over Cambodia and then came up with a last minute 2-1 win over Afghanistan to draw level on points with Hong Kong in the group table. Both teams have already qualified - one as the winner of the group, and the other as one of the best five group runner-ups (this match will decide which is which).

The Indians will be looking to make it three wins out of three to give fans something to cheer about, especially with the administrative chaos the national federation is going through.

India seek Finals berth, and a silver lining in a time of chaos

Screenshots in the blog courtesy: Disney+Hotstar in India