A last-gasp Adil Khan header prevented complete embarrassment for India as the Blue Tigers played out a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in their World Cup qualifiers match in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Saad Uddin gave Bangladesh the lead in the 42nd minute and the visitors looked like going back home with all the three points in the Group E match of World Cup qualifying second round match. Khan, however, ensured that India at least secure a point from the home match as he rose highest to nod home a Brandon Fernandes corner kick in the 88th minute.
A defeat at home would have severely dented India’s hopes of advancing in the next round but a draw did neither side any favours in terms of their standings in the group.
India had lost to Oman 1-2 in their opening match before holding Asian champions Qatar to a goal-less draw in their previous match. They now have two points from three matches, while Bangladesh stay at the bottom with one point from three games.
Bangladesh were the more organised and penetrating side as they put up a spirited show against India who were backed by a full-capacity crowd at the Saltlake Stadium.
Inspirational captain Sunil Chhetri was not at his best as was goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who kept at bay the marauding Qataris in the memorable drawn game in Doha. Gurpreet misjudged the flight of the ball to let in the Bangladesh’s goal to the stunning silence of the packed 65,000-plus crowd.
Thanks to Khan’s last header, a defeat that looked imminent was avoided.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to that match:
Despite the disappointing result, Kolkata welcomed the Indian team back to the City of Joy after eight years in some style: