Asian Games football: Chhetri helps India down Bangladesh

Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri scored the winner from the spot. Photo: IANS

Hangzhou: The Indian football team rode on a late Sunil Chhetri pellaty to beat Bangladesh by a solitary goal and stay alive for a place in the knockouts of the Asian Games here on Thursday.

The 39-year-old veteran scored from the spot in the 85th minute to help his team earn full points after the 1-5 hammering at the hands of hosts China on Tuesday.

The Bangladesh goalkeeper dived the right way but could not do anything against Chhetri's fabulous strike from the spot as the ball went past him.

India were awarded the penalty after a foul Bangladesh captain Rahmat following a long ball to Bryce Miranda at the edge of the box.

Asked about the lack of recovery time, Chhetri said, "The first thing is to go and recuperate, it was not easy. I'm petty sure it was the same thing for the opponents also. playing three games in five days is not easy, a lot of ice bath, eat good food and get ready."

India will next play Myanmar, who beat Bangladesh 1-0 on the opening day, i their final Group A game on Sunday.

India had a great chance of scoring from a fre- kick after Gurkirat Singh was fouled near the Bangladesh box.

Samuel Kynshi took the free-kick after getting some advice from Chhetri, but his shot to the top-left corner was brilliantly saved by the Bangladesh custodian, who dived to palm the ball away.

After a goalless first half, India had another chance to score but Rahul K P could not make use of the cross inside the box as he headed it the other way.

There were three changes for India as Gurmeet Singh, who received a yellow card in last game, was replaced by Dheeraj Singh. The two other changes were Rohit Danu for Rahim Ali and Chingelsena Singh for Sumit Rathi.

Indian women go down fighting

The Indian women footballers' campaign started on a disappointing note after an impressive first half as higher-ranked Chinese Taipei rallied to win 2-1.

The Thomas Dennerby-coached side, who are 23 notches lower than the world No. 23 Chinese Taipei, dominated the first half. The opening goal came right after the break when Anju Tamang scored in the 47th minute.

Her initial strike at the goal was stopped by Ming Jung but Anju was there to hit back on the rebound.

In the absence of their star goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan, who is recovering from a knee injury, Shreya Hooda did a neat job in the first half when she thwarted a flurry of attacks from Chinese Taipei.

But Chinese Taipei hit back in the 68th minute when Li-Chin Lai, known to be a left-footer, unleashed a powerful strike with her right foot that rattled the cross bar before getting into the goal.

In the 84th minute, substitute Hsuan Su scored the winning goal after a goalkeeping mistake by Shreya, who misjudged the trajectory of a long ball that came inside the box.

Su collected it with ease and slotted it into the bottom right corner.

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