Preview: If Thailand was big, India are faced with a bigger test in hosts United Arab Emirates in the AFC Asian Cup here Thursday, overcoming whom will require them to play out of their skins.Currently ranked 79th to India’s 97th, the United Arab Emirates were placed as high as 24 in the FIFA chart in January 2015. India can expect the UAE to come hard at them after a 1-1 stalemate against Bahrain in the tournament opener.
Follow India-UAE live updates below –
Second half begins
The players are back on the pitch and we are about to get underway in the second half. India have made a substitution as Jeje Lalpheklua comes on in place of Halicharan Narzary.
The teams sets of players head back into their respective dressing rooms as UAE lead 1-0 at the half-time. Mubarak’s goal separates the two teams at the break. India will have to come out all guns blazing the second half to have any chance in the match now.
Chhetri comes close… again!
India thought they had levelled the match just seconds after UAE went 1-0 up as Sunil Chhetri was sent through on goal by a through ball. There were two defenders marking the Indian skipper as he made his way into the box. Chhetri hit the shot across the ball and it went agonisingly wide of the target.
UAE score against the run of play (41’)
Anas doesn’t deal with a long ball and UAE make India pay minutes before the half-time. Mubarak sends the ball into the back of the net from a tough angle and India have fallen behind. The crowd erupts but Indian players cannot believe how Mubarak hit the ball into the back of the net from that angle.
UAE growing in confidence
In the last five minutes of so, UAE players have moved the ball around well and they have hogged majority of the possession. Al Hassan send a dangerous ball for India but the ball was cleared by the Indian defenders for a corner. UAE number 9 Mohammed Bandar then hit the side netting with a left-foot try.
So far so good for India
30 minutes have been played in the first half and the match is still locked at 0-0. UAE have had better possession but India have enjoyed better chances. They are playing good on the counter and troubling the hosts.
Another glorious chance for India (22’)
India would have been 2-0 up on any other day as after Ashique, Sunil Chettri comes close to scoring. Udanta made a brillant run on the right flank and after evading the defender, passed the ball to Anirudh Thapa. When the ball was crossed inside by Thapa, Chhetri came in between two defenders but hit the ball straight towards the keeper who saved it easily. India are playing good football at the moment and clearly the better side.
India on the frontfoot
Indian players are not letting UAE settle on the ball and that is the reason why the hosts haven’t been able to string a few passes together. After a nervy opening five minutes, India players have grown in confidence and they are the one’s who have come closest to scoring.
Big chance for India (11’)
Sunil Chhetri played a brilliant through ball to Ashique and when he was one on one with the keeper, he hit a good drive but the UAE keeper was up to it and made a brilliant one-hand save. Glorious chance for India to open the scoring but the chance goes a begging.
UAE off the blocks quickly
In the opening few minutes of the game, India are second best team clearly with UAE enjoying majority of the possession. The Blue Tigers haven’t been able to cope up with the slick play of the hosts.
India are wearing blue tonight after donning white in their opening clash of the tournament. As for hosts UAE, they are wearing all whites today and they are getting us underway with the first kick of the night.
National anthem time
The players are out in the middle for their respective national anthems and the match will begin minutes after it. The players are looking pumped up and it is going to be cracking contest.
Indian coach ahead of clash
“We need to get some points from today’s game against UAE. The hosts always have the pressure, but they have the crowd advantage, and it won’t be easy for us. We are ready for it” – Stephen Constantine
Chhetri to lead India
Talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri has been chosen by coach Stephen Constantine to lead India in this clash. Earlier, in the first match of the tournament, Gurpreet Singh was India’s captain.
Here are the playing XIs of both the teams for this crunch clash –
Results of opening round
India thrashed Thailand 4-1 while UAE were held to a stalemate by Bahrain 1-1. India are leading the group with three points in their opener and also a +3 goal difference in their favour.
Hello and welcome
A very warm welcome to the live blog of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 match between India and UAE. Stephen Constantine’s men started the tournament with a bang by beating Thailand 4-1. If they manage to perform at similar level tonight, they will go a long way in sealing their progression into the next round.
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