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Indian Football: 5 Talking points from the AFC U23 qualifier between India and Kyrgyzstan

Indian U-23 football team shared points with a goalless draw in the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan.

Indian Football: 5 Talking points from the AFC U23 qualifier between India and Kyrgyzstan

Snehal Chowdhury

Published: 31 Oct 2021 6:18 AM GMT

The Indian U-23 football team took on the Kyrgyz Republic in the last group stage match in the AFC Asian U-23 qualifiers. It was a cracking encounter as both the teams were standing with the same points and it was a do-or-die situation for the Blue Tigers. Though it was an engaging match yet both the sides failed to find the net in the regulation time as the match ended as a goalless stalemate. Later in the penalties, India managed to beat Kyrgyzstan 4-2 to secure their second spot in the group. The Bridge brings you the 5 talking points from the match.

India depends on wing play

From the very first minute of the match, the Indian team kept on recycling the ball maintaining a good possession across the pitch. Indian center-back Deepak Tangri was the main man controlling the pace of the match. As he continued to build the game from the back creating balls for the wingers Ashis Rai and Rahul KP. The latter came up with a great show as created a bunch of chances with their flashy runs across the flank creating problems for Kyrgyz.

Rahul KP flying through the flanks; (Image Source: AIFF Media)

DHEERAJ: The new wall of India
Indian goalies saving the day and becoming marvel heroes have become a trend in the last couple of years. And to these series, a new name joins in the Dheeraj Singh Moirangtem. The 22-year-old goalkeeper continued to maintain his fantastic form under the post making some brilliant saves. Dheeraj saved as many as four sure goal-bound shots as he stood tall with the game's progress. But he unveiled his best form during the spot-kick saving two brilliant penalties. The Manipuri lad somewhat snatched the spot home from the Kyrgyz as he seemed to be the man standing in between the former USSR side and their main stage hopes.

Dheeraj stood tall and saved the day for India; (Image Source: AIFF Media)

Rapid Rahul

The 21-year-old Kerala Blasters winger played a fantastic match throughout the game. He kept on creating problems for the Kyrgyz defense with his spectacular ball control and speed along the flanks. Rahul could have easily scored a fantastic goal from a long ranger in the last quarter of the match if it wouldn't have hit the post. If it bulged the net surely it could be a world-class finish and probably the best goal in this group stage matches.

Midfield Dynamo

Suresh Singh and Apuia delivered a sensational performance throughout the game. The way they came up with a combined play in the center of the park amused a lot. Things turned a lot turbid for the opposition, as Kyrgyzstan lost a lot of balls in the midfield due to this dynamo duo.

Kyrgyzstan fails in the tactical battle

The Kyrgyz side started the match from a very defensive viewpoint as they tried to hold the ball in their midfield and slow things down for India. But the party got spoiled with the Indian colts taking over the possession and continued to create movements along the flanks. The White Falcons absorbed the pressure well but couldn't opt for a good counterattack play. They created a couple of good chances in the first half but it was Dheeraj's heroics that made them fall short. Though they tried to make a comeback in the second half with a mentality to bag the attacking momentum, it was too late with the Indians already pressing their throttle down.

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